A slice of everyday life

A slice of everyday life

Recently, I spent a few days at a hotel out of town. It was a trip that took me and the family out to an area dotted with industrial buildings. There were events scheduled at the hotel, and those took time. Most of those days were spent drifting in and out of celebrations.

But what caught my attention the most was the time I got for quiet reflection in between. My hotel room was six floors up, overlooking, to put it mundanely, a large tract of land speckled with buildings at the far end. These were factories, I think, with sloping roofs and lights that shone like stars at night. The room had a large bay window overseeing it all.

Come morning and you could see little trotting dogs on the tract of land. They’d rise just after the sun and they’d wander with the chilly morning mists, following narrow paths carved out of the dirt. Six or eight of them would flock together, sniffing, investigating, and sometimes lounging in patchy sunlight. Then, as the minutes ticked by, they’d disperse and the humans would appear. They would walk along those paths, bags and satchels in hand. Distance made them look tall and gangly and obviously bipedal. They would cross the entire tract of land on their way to work. It is, I believe, a long way to walk.

By late morning would come a group of buffaloes to graze. It seemed from afar that the land had little greenery, but the buffaloes did not think so. They roamed around, chewing contentedly, in the golden sun. From a slow rise beyond them, the dogs would curiously watch. Then, a little later would come the goats. Jumping and frisky and full of life. The animals had their own areas to graze and would not encroach. 

Afternoon and dusk brought with them youths playing cricket. They would claim patches of land for themselves, set up makeshift stumps, and proceed in what looked to be very serious matches. Some others stood by and observed. People gathered here and there to gossip.

By nightfall, the lights would come on, and nothing else would be visible. Then again, morning would come and similar scenes played out again, and again. Not always the same, but there was a certain rhythm to it, like a play where you never really knew what would come next, no matter how many times you’d seen it before.

It was fascinating that a brown and dry patch of land could hold such scenes of vibrant life. And it was, for me at least, a reminder that there was always something new even in an ordinary slice of everyday life.