I’m walking at a sedate pace in the park when I notice a flash of colour to my right. It’s a young woman wearing red sweat pants and a T-shirt soaked in sweat. I recognise the walking Usain Bolt of the morning walking brigade. Predictably as I move ahead a few yards, she has already walked a full circle in the park, with the precision of a military general, neatly squeezing into the open spaces between slow walkers.
While busy applauding her technique, I unwittingly stumble onto a couple in front of me. When they look at me in consternation, I feel like an interloper. Muttering apologies, I give the cozy couple a wide berth as I determinedly sprint ahead, all the while keeping my eyes on the she-Bolt.
“Today the coffee was so bitter — but I dare not complain otherwise I will not even get my usual cuppa!” The remark is followed by loud guffaws and back slapping. When I look back I see a group, pot-bellied to the last man, dressed in black. Their black pants and shorts makes me stop for a moment. I’m not sure if they are colour coordinated by intent but they certainly represent a show of unity. All that’s missing are peace bands on their wrists.
“She keeps demanding more and more.” Now I am all ears. Who was demanding more? A whiny daughter or a dominating mother-in-law? “Last month I had increased her salary but she takes leave for the flimsiest excuse.”
Ah! It is maid-bashing time. What follows next is like a script from a movie. When the Men in Black take a breather after lamenting over the metro construction everywhere, the amblers ruminate over maids, in-laws and shopping maladies. And circumscribed by the relentless pacing of the she-Bolt. On and on it goes. I listen to a running commentary covering a wide spectrum of subjects in my morning walk at the local park. It certainly saves me the bother of reading the newspaper.
This article first appeared in the Deccan Herald.