in a Day's
a walk in the morning or in the afternoon wherever you want
and we will have an experience or two to share. Except that
the walk should preferably be within the confines of a space
so you get to walk in a round and meet the same people several
times in the course of walking. I call it the "Mulberry
Syndrome" and enjoy it enormously. The walkers in a
group usually converse while walking. If some of these conversations
get to your ears you would find them so interesting that
you would not regret having heard them. No you would not
be eaves-dropping. That's despicable. The words would pour
in to your ears so you would have no way of not listening.
You would easily be able to fathom the subject, intensity
and the language of quite a hand full of conversations.
Just be informed that if you yourself happen to be in a
similar group you would be pleasing someone's ears as well.
there are various kinds of walkers as there are various
types of conversations that make the round. I have found
women to be more entertaining walker talkers than men. Some
of them would be talking about their children. The younger
women would prefer to discuss the education of their kids,
exchanging views on schools and on subjects. If the children
of two women belong to the same school then they would jealously
share the achievements of being the mothers of children
going to such great schools. If the children of the women
are grown up then, of course the focus would shift to higher
education or marriage. The conversation essentially becomes
more colourful if the grown up children live abroad. We
get to travel, free of cost, to various places in this wonderful
world of ours represented vividly in their discussions.
So what if you haven't been there? You could see in your
mind's eye the places in their pristine glory. There are
also some women who discuss various dishes they cooked in
the party held last night. These are mouth watering conversations.
If you have imagination you could literally smell the aroma
of the various dishes and salivate. Believe me. I have even
picked up half of some of the recipes that are discussed.
Why half? Because, the conversations fade away to a distance
with them and me walking in opposite directions. If I can
muster enough guts I would like to stop them and complete
the recipe some day.
must confess that the men have much less interesting subjects
to discuss than the women and are highly opinionated. These,
in most cases have to do with contemporary politics and
can be grouped into three broad categories -- politics of
home, politics of neighbours and politics of the world.
Politics of the world, these days, comprise the happenings
of the Middle East. More precisely, Iraq. With Iraq, as
an essential corollary, comes up the role of the west. Needless
to say, every body is critical of the USA and UK. In the
category of politics of the neighbours, nowadays, the Indian
election is the hottest subject. And Sonia Gandhi seems
to have emerged as the darling of everyone. Her grace, her
élan and her political foresight has now become the
most talked about subject amongst the walkers as it also
is amongst, I think, all Bangladeshis. Some even think that
by her recent acts of benevolence she has reached the heights
of Mahatma Gandhi, the founding father of India. Some also
apprehend that the change recently brought about in the
centre stage of Indian politics may not last long as the
forces of communalism and extremism were around. They would
pull down anything that was reminiscent of political sanity.
Readers might wonder at how I was able to pick these complete
conversations up on a day's walk. It is simple; I walked
with the men who were discussing these subjects. The conversations
on politics at home always leave me sad. They are so depressing.
We seem to be marooned in an unearthly place as in Albert
Camus' "Plague". We know for sure that an all
pervasive pestilence has surrounded us from all sides. It
is closing in on us gradually. There's no way to get away
from it. We are waiting for the inevitable end.
the end the good and the bad of my collection from a day's
walk seem to give me a feeling of absurdity. I return with
a mixed feeling. At times I think if it is worth it. Do
I give up walking from tomorrow? It is then that I remember
the flaming Krishnachura in orange and scarlet, the mauve
Jarul, the golden Alamanda, the Shonaloo in yellow, the
blades of grass freshly sprouting up. All these beckon me
to give them company. And I feel life verily is worth living.
So I will keep walking.