Incidental Pantomimes

Nature walks are essential to a thinker’s appetite (and it promotes weight loss which thinking doesn’t!) Hence, every morning around 7:30am I find myself sitting on a brutally cold surface of some garden bench, innocently studying all passersby, audaciously eavesdropping on conversations and creating twisted tales in my head by joining all the disconnected snippets I catch.  I keep switching parks to entertain myself, but all of them have the same things to offer more or less. Thick green trees fixed on an earth covered with golden leaves that fell in autumn of 1997 (approximately) and a generous sprouting of fresh green grass which is teeming with infinitesimal bugs that positively guarantee a fine red rash to anyone who ventures to sit on them. Strays dogs frolic around in puddles of water left by a careless gardener and lorry walahs diligently wait outside the park, always ready to serve exorbitant amount of calories to unsuspecting customers. There aren’t too many bright fragrant flower bushes, but there are a huge number of people running around, wearing neon tights and flashy floral print jackets while exuding the stink of their expensive perfumes. There aren’t a lot of birds chirping around in the sunlight, but every now and then the sky is annexed by the soaring boom of a passing airplane. The heavy footsteps of paunchy men on the jogging track occur in perfect sync with the exotic yoga asanas that help participants comfortably barf out last night’s dinner.

And amongst this incidental pantomime, a young lady with the most perfect figure catches my eye. It’s not her flawless figure that sparks my attention per se, but it is the way she looks at the couple running in front of her. I see an ancient longing in her expression as she overtakes them in a rush of emotion; ‘they have a perfect life’. My focus shifts from the running lady to the esteemed couple and surprisingly I see the same yearning in their eyes when they look at a boy of 8 years, who is busy entertaining himself in a wrought iron play gym; ‘he is the perfect kid’. The boy of 8, I notice, looks the same way at an older boy who’s setting up the stumps for a fresh game of cricket that begins in an hour; ‘he has the perfect cricket set’. The older boy keeps stealing glances from in between the stumps he lays, at a girl he would really like to date. She’s swinging really high on a swing meant for kids half her age, but ‘she has the most perfect hair’. When I turn my attention to the girl on the swings, I see her face crumble with a familiar yearning as she looks over to another girl who sits under a shady tree with her nose buried in a book that is almost as thick as her glasses; ‘she has the perfect grades’. And then I see this reader girl look up from her book and stare hungrily at a woman running past her; ‘she had the perfect figure, after all’.

Nature walks are essential to a thinker’s appetite, like I said.

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