Thursday, December 14, 2006

Morning Glory

Every morning I wake up rather reluctantly when I would much rather stay under a blanket - a rare luxury in Bombay as winter is non existent but mornings are sufficiently nippy for a light blanket and I am forced to emerge due to a rather persistent alarm clock. It seems crows are rather punctual about coming and crowing in delight too. One of them comes sharp at 6:15 AM on the branch of a banyan tree right next to my bedroom window without fail. I haven't decided on the gender but I think it’s female, so maybe I'll name her Cindy or Clara or something.

After being awakened by multiple sources of noise I have this task of waking up my son, usually I just have to whisper "Time for football" and he is up immediately. After which I have to hear the customary grumbles of spouse for causing all the commotion that wakes him up. Of course I am unrepentant as always and continue with brushing my teeth.

After dropping my son at the school football grounds I head for the nearby jogging track which is a beautiful place with plenty of trees, green lawns, walking tracks, tennis courts, little huts for people to do their meditation and yoga. Some people volunteer to water plants and tend to the new saplings just planted, while some help with cleaning or supervising the cleaning of the area. There is a laughter club somewhere from where I hear sounds of ha ha ho ho he hee and what not and an involuntary giggle escapes me every time I hear it, it’s kind of infectious. Once I reach the track, I start running, puff and pant, stop when I am out of breath, walk a bit and then run again.

On my way I overhear bits and pieces of conversation, two ladies walking together engrossed in exchanging recipes; I mentally hope they are fat free. A group of all white clad men with huge beer bellies huffing and puffing and talking about share markets and property prices. A few older men discussing how best to hide grief while the other wisely says one must control ones self not to feel negative emotions. "But how?" asks someone, I don’t wait to hear the answer as I have to keep running. While on an empty stretch I watch a lone duck lazily venturing out to test the waters in the adjacent lake. Further on I see and hear a huddle of Bengalis engrossed in a discussion about the gross financial irregularities in the puja committee, a pair of college teens, lovers whispering sweet nothings in each other's ears, a group chanting Vedic mantras, many people doing pranayam (Ramdev has really reached the masses) and so on.

When I walk back to the school I see some middle aged men fighting like children over what seemed to be an unfair tennis match. An old Sikh gentleman walking with a loaf of bread which he distributes to the stray dogs in that area. A few zealous entrepreneurs who sell all kinds of juices for the health conscious by the pavement, a buzz of activity in front of the school gates where parents are collecting their children.

I spot my son in the crowd, (the bright blue t shirt helps) who is drenched in sweat and when he sees me he gives me a bright smile. It's time to go home.

6 comments:

Kausum said...

I still remember when I was a kid, my dad used to take me out to the corner shop where we could rent bicycles for an hour and as soon as I am on the bicycle, I saw him engrossed in a deep conversation with his friends and used to only remember me after an hour when it used to be time to go home. Also, recently on a walk in the morning with mom, after innumerable comments on me becoming fat, you get to meet all mom's friends who will stop by and talk to you for 10 minutes before leaving you for your jog. Kind of remembered these memories as I read your post.

Di said...

nice look at ur mornin jog.. :) really seeing our loved ones somehow makes us smile...

Nautilus said...

Curious...very curious! Recently I have started power-walking in the morning braving the bitter cold! I drop of my son to his martial arts class and walk around the beautiful neighborhood admiring the multi-million dollar homes...

ichatteralot said...

@Kausum: People develop lasting friendships over these morning meetings - perhaps because people are at their best in the mornings??

@Di: :) yes and its very comforting to see a smile

@Nautilus: I think both of us may be motivated by the layers of flab settling in our mid sections???
:D

austere said...

Where IS this?

ichatteralot said...

@Austere: Its a sleepy little village called Navi Mumbai!