A walker's delight


T

he luminous crimson rays of the rising sun cast a magical spell on a city that is just beginning to awaken. The early morning silence is punctuated by the shrill calls of the birds before they take off on their first flight of the day. It’s time for the morning constitutional.

Gulping in lungfuls of the fresh air before the vehicle exhausts take over, I set off at a brisk pace. Feeling blessed to live in an area with a road earmarked as a walking zone, the eyes take in the familiar landscape. The big bungalows with large lawns and trees whose  branches meet overhead to form a green canopy, the smaller dwellings with a patch of grass, the parked cars on the roadside being cleaned by their drivers leaving pools of water are among other sights that offer glimpses into peoples’ minds and workings.

The newspaper boys are among the first to come into sight. On their cycles and two wheelers, with their precariously perched newspaper bundles, they are to be admired for the precision with which they fling the rolled up paper into the houses, sometimes even to the first floor balconies, all from the roadside. Rain, shine or cold, they stoically do their jobs.

Then, the groups of middle aged ladies in sarees, chudidars, nighties with a shawl thrown on, discussing about the gold prices, the maidservants absence, the vegetable prices, etc. The group, besides providing company affords protection against chain snatchers. The younger ones, in jeans and tees, are too engrossed in listening to their i-pods and rushing to the aerobics class than to bother about life’s trivialities.

The retired gentlemen with their sticks discuss about politics, the interest rates, the recession and the garbage collection while strolling leisurely. The 30s and 40s gentry with their designer shoes and trackpants vigorously march forward, while those with dogs chat away on their mobiles while the canines sniff and ease themselves. The owners then nonchalantly walk away, grumbling about the road’s cleanliness. The religious ones chant their way to health.  All in a morn’s walk!

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