Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Thirty minutes in an imaginary world

- By Janaki Krishnan
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Mumbai is a crowded city. Noise and air pollution are beyond acceptable limits. But I still enjoy my evening walk along its uneven roads and footpaths. This half-an-hour's exercise not only keeps me physically fit, but also stimulates me mentally. There are several regular faces that I encounter, and I enjoy labelling them with traits purely of my own imagination.
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As soon as I set out from our building near Sion Circle, I see another walker, a very energetic young lady in her twenties. I call her my 'marching soldier'. Her erect posture, the sincerity of her face, and her steady yet energetic pace make me straighten up. I gather speed and try to keep pace with her.
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Turning to the right, I reach the main road leading to King's Circle. Here I see a South Indian couple, senior citizens, the man walking ahead and the wife trailing two steps behind. Their slow leisurely walk, their conversation, and the occassional smile on the lady's face speak to me of the fourth stage of their life - vanaprastha - a period when ones duties towards children are over, with no worries about providing for financial security, and no waves of the 'samsara sagara' dashing against them. The peace and contentment on their face is contagious.
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Walking a few steps ahead, I see a young couple walking hand-in-hand. Probably they are lovers, soon to be married. Their joyous faces reveal their dreams and aspirations for a happy life together.
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I reach Muralidhar temple. Having expressed my gratitude to the Lord for his blessings, I come out, and trace my way back home. On the way, I often see a middle-aged lady walking with some difficulty, limping, supporting her knee with her hand. Watching her walk determinedly, I learn a lesson - that if you are mentally strong, then no physical disability can deter you from doing what you want.
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As I near home, the last person I meet is my 'maalish bai', who I had employed to massage my grand-daughters when they were infants. I stop to exchange a few words with her. The renewed association brings back sweet memories of my experiences as a grandmother, and brings a smile to my face as I enter my house. Thirty minutes of walking along Mumbai roads has transported me into a wholly different world of imagination.

6 comments:

radha said...

very nice blog. These thoughts occur only as one grows older.

jeanne b. said...

what a sweet reflection on a daily constitutional...
your friend Jeanne in San Francisco, CA USA

udayan said...

siddhartha had a similar "morning-walk" ( only he was on a chariot )before he got enlightened, decided to renounce the world and become Buddha ... you seem to be "walking" down that trodden path !!!

Kievas said...

Sometimes I miss living in a city where so many people walk, at all hours of the day or night.

Smruti said...

I love reading ur blog. I can relate to all this as I have been born and brought up in the same area of King Circle, Matunga. You, Deepa and Aishwarya bring all my memories back. Thanks!

- Smruti

Anonymous said...

Hi - We had Bramha Kamal bloomed tonight Mumbai July 29, 2011, flower bloomed at our place past three years in row.

Anand Dubey