Random Mornings Memories of morning walks
Memories of morning walks
climates, cities, faces
the familiar rhythms
as the body finds its stride
after each hiatus
caused by life-
each can disrupt, for days and months,
the rhythm of the dawn.
What joy to be out again
In the cool of the morning
The sky, benevolent.
A gentle sun.
Fog, low visibility.
The crowds near the lakes in Kolkota-
Unnerving, at first, to one used to solitude.
Mist, drizzle, koels in
A school-going child to be hurried home for,
To be woken, fed, dispatched…..
tea, morning papers, significant others….
The rhythms of routine will prevail
How precious this time alone
Thoughts to be thought through,
Walking as worship,
A prayer running through the mind
Sincere, though perhaps unorthodox.
But since when is one’s Maker orthodox?
Since when are the rituals conducted in His name
All that please Him?
And thanking Him, with profound gratitude,
for each new morning, each new day……..
The elderly lady murmuring her ‘paath’
Black-haired “Speedy” with his Walkman,
The lady with the squeaky sneakers
( had she paid for them, I wonder- one shoe squeaked the entire year)
Apsos and alsatians,
(much before Hutch made pugs a household dream )
Mr Muscles, so many others
The amazing interactions,
and their absences
At each new location
The paranoia of this day and age
Underlined vividly in many ways….
The dawn of the new millennium
On the waterfront at
Three cheerful young men wishing all and sundry
A Happy New Year,
And offering toffees from a bag
It would be churlish to refuse.
But- sweets from a stranger?
Never- one of the earliest taboos….
Not me, not my child, not my maid, nor her child….
No child whom I know or do not know…..
Poor, innocuous little sweet
I slip it discreetly into the water,
Hoping that the fish forgive me…….
How do I perceive myself?
Middle-aged, plump, cheerful, female,
Most definitely non-threatening…….
But after months of traversing the same roads,
At times I wonder……..
Once established as a regular, familiar, solitary walker,
Albeit a stranger,
Strangeness wears off, interaction begins
Usually just a smile, a nod,
Of a fellow human being,
part of the community of walkers-
what more does one need?
There was the woman who refused to smile
Perhaps it was part of her socialization-
Smiling at strangers leads to Trouble.
Her persistent non-smiling and my persistent smiling
became a part of our routine.
Surely the joy of the morning had to be shared….
it became a mission to make the wretched woman smile.
The entire year I lived in that town, walking,
Watching the purple sunbirds,
The jacaranda and the Pride of India
Purple resplendent everywhere
Crossing her path every morning
She refused to smile.
Until the day after I had my hair cut short
She beamed at me
Why, I cannot say………
The older walkers lack such threat perception
They cheerfully acknowledge the new human being
Who has, for however long, entered their orbit.
With them, it doesn’t matter whether you are male or female,
Young or old, whatever shape or size….
They also crave acknowledgement of their humanity,
Glad that courtesy can exist beyond convention,
Never mind that you haven’t been introduced……..
Courage flowers in many fields-
The early morning roads bear witness
to extraordinary valour ,everyday,everywhere.
The elderly lady in
her rolling gait, her snail-like pace,
bore witness to the pain she bore,
but she walked every day,
each step an achievement.
The couple in
Elderly, he with crutches,
Devoted wife alongside,
Adding a few yards every few days,
Progressing from crutch to stick,
The lane outside their house a witness
To their courage and determination.
The neighbour who had undergone
In this new phase of his life
the erstwhile desk-bound workaholic
learns to walk each dawn
as though his life depends upon it.
The octet of elderly gentlemen
Laughing aloud each morning
Their anecdotes slowing their pace to a stroll
Now only three remain,
But they keep on………
Slower, older, shorter, no longer upright
Sticks and canes for support
But their conversation continues, unabated,
as do their walks…….
The very old lady
Bone thin, bent over-
Clutch skeletal thighs-
Propelling herself, independent of all
No stick, no cane, no walker, no helping hand…..
Perhaps just the mercy of the Lord
Whose temple she circumambulates, smiling,
at dusk and every dawn.
A luxury, an indulgence
That’s what these walks are,
Leaving the comfort of bed
the only difficulty,
Early rising becomes a habit-
The body wakens you-
It’s time to get up, time to go
Out into the glorious morning.
lie-abed days soon diminish
of their own accord…..
as a mode of transport,
as it still is for so many-
walking over all kinds of terrain
when there’s no alternative….
But we morning walkers,
Walking for the joy of it
Reserving the best part of the day
We also bask in the admiration
Of those unfortunates
Who can’t make it in the mornings….
Strange, what moral stature
Early morning walks can grant you.
There are so many more who walk
At dusk, in the evenings,
Sun-setters, not sun-risers
City skies are smoggy by then
There’s the traffic of returning commuters
Dinners to be prepared,
Homework to be supervised
Sudden demands for a notebook
Or pencils, or maps (physical and political)
To be fulfilled.
Guests who drop in for evening tea.
Many more potential interruptions-
You can’t call your soul your own,
I love early early mornings and have been fairly passionate about them in my blog. I love winter dawns more than any other time of the year,though . And yes, strangers often become familiar .
very nice!! these are familiar sights to me too! hope you are back at your morning walks soon enough.
I am sure that is a lovely poem. I will come back to read it another time. But I could not concentrate as I kept worrying about what is keeping our bubbly effervescent Dipali in bed.
Please get well soon. Hugs.
will come back for the poem again. :)
Lovely imagery. You must live in a really safe neighborhood, if you can take a walk at 4 am :)
simply stunning and vivid
a born poet you are!
what's keeping you in bed? Please get well soon and don't make us worry about you. Hugs and shooing those bugs away!
@eve's lungs: Yes, I've enjoyed those posts. And you walk in such a lovely
@kbpm: not for three months- am supposed to rest as much as possible.
I'm planning to sit out in the balcony and at least enjoy the fresh morning air.
@usha:Typhoid. Please don't ask me how/where I acquired it: that seems to be a popular question I'm asked these days:) Hugs to you too, and thanks for your concern. And do read this rambling piece when you have the time. Don't worry, shall bounce right back!
@lekhni: Thanks. The area is safe enough, though I wouldn't usually step out before five a.m. It's just that since I'm resting a lot these days I almost inevitably wake up around four. That's when the magpie-robins are singing their hearts out. When I was walking I definitely needed my alarm clock!
@dottie: Thanks- see all details above!
beautiful dipali..its like watching the scenes unfold before the eyes- you almost took me there :)
nothing like "me-time" to connect with the soul away from the mad rush of life!
hope you get well soon and back to the lovely morning walks :D
Thanks for dropping by my blog. Get well soon and enjoy the rest :)
get well soon!
as for morning walks, your walks are a little tooooo early morning for me!
loved this.. gummidipondi brought back some memories.. I used to keep saying thats where I will end up.. thinking it was a god forsaken place.. turns out there are some IT companies there too :) This is my first time here and I already cant seem to stop reading... :)
and get well soon :)
Get well soon! Enjoyed the poem, I have just started walking in the morning again after a long time...love that part of the day. Agree about morning being way fresher than evenings. My fav line: 'But since when is one’s Maker orthodox?'
@MayG: Thank you. And early morning me-time really energises one for the day.
@sandeepa: Thank you. I'm so glad you're back to blogging.
@sundar: Thanks for the get well wishes. In winter 6 a.m is a pleasant time to start out,in summer one needs to get back by then, Kolkata's so hot and humid.
@preethi: I still think that despite everything Gummidipoondi is pretty godforsaken. But the paddy fields were amazingly lovely to look at. Hope to see you here often, and thanks for the wishes!
@indian home maker: Thank you so much! Yes, mornings are so special:)
typhoid??? oh how terrible. and please do take all the rest you can, you dont want to be up and about before you have got your strength back- relapses are the silliest things ever!
the warmest and best of wishes that the two of us- sanah and her ma- can muster and send to far off cal.
@sur : Can you believe it- while I was scrolling down to see if there were any new comments I was thinking of you! I guess telepathy does exist. Thank you, Sanah and Sanah ki Ma for the good wishes. I'm very seriously trying to follow doctor's orders and resting as much as possible:)
I hope u know u'rea total rockstar!!!
Such lovrly lines! Of course I am ignoring the fact that its the mornings u love :D
I loveeeeed it....I am a passionate walker, havent been able to do much walking over the past couple of months and I could so identify with so many things....
last but not the least, "your soul is not your own"
that was a lovely post...and get well soon...:)
Beautiful!! I hope you get well soon!
Awww, Dipali. Typhoid!! Take care, am sure you'll be back on your feet sooner than the doctor is ready to let you!
Loved the poem. Made me vaguely nostalgic!
You're tagged :) And this one requires no walking.
Oh Dipali! Hope you're feeling better - do rest a lot and follow doc's orders. Do get all better soon.
Though I'm not a morning person, loved the beautiful pictures you created through your words. Hugs :)
@eve's lungs: will do, soon.
@chandni: First time ever I've been called a rockstar! WOW- made my day:)
@karmic kids: We miss so much when the walking routine is disrupted. Hope you can start again soon:)
@churning the word mill:Thank you so much
@thinking cramps: Glad you liked it. I'm doing my best to get well asap! Will do the tag soon:)
@mystic margarita: Hugs to you too, and many thanks.
loved this. loved it loved it loved it. in fact, i've been doing regular morning walk/runs in new york for the past couple of months. not for any reasons of health, but because it was the only way i could get anytime to myself which was not either frantically busy doing something or being with other people... i run along the hudson now, in rierside park, which is quite fun.
Read it calmly this time. Lovely. Now I see how you must be missing it!
What beautiful lines...I love going on morning walks...that is when I manage to wake up early. Hugs to you and get well soon.
Get well soon, dipali. The more rest you get the quicker you will be up and about. Loved the poem - really captures what morning walkers everywhere like about their ritual.
Hope you feel better soon and get back to adding to that treasure trove of walk memories.
Who or what is gummidipondi?
Hey, get well soon Dipali. Take very good care of urself.
Such a lovely poem. Loved the exchange between u and the non-smiling lady :)
For quite a while I had been thinking of doing a post on similar lines - the morning scenes from childhood when I used to go to Mother Dairy to fetch milk :) or get up after sleeping outside on 'charpais', obviously not in such a beautiful way as u have. I'll surely link this one up when the 2 energy sapping imps that I have for kids allow me some time.
You take rest and pls get well soon.
Nice poem. I love the walks too and how the morning ones invigorates you, but getting out of the warm bed is a real difficult task for me. How I wish I could overcome that...
Get well soon Dipali. Hugs.
@anand: What a lovely place you have for your walks! Yes, that little bit of solitude is really needed:)
@usha: Thanks. How is your walking with Munni programme doing?
@the weekend blogger:Thanks. Hope you have recovered completely.
@d: Thanks. You have always been so encouraging, even before I started this blog!
@rohini: Thanks and welcome here. Gummidipoondi is a small town in Tamil Nadu, about fifty kilometres north of Chennai, which is being promoted as an industrial hub. Spent more than two years there in a colony that was mercifully not in the town.
@neera: Oh, those were the days- sleeping outdoors on charpais and fetching milk from the booth!Do write your post. I'm so glad you like this!
@2b's mom: Thanks for your good wishes. This would be winter for you now- I can see how tempting a warm bed can be:)
Uh-oh! Get well, get well soon, and back on your morning walks.
You were not well?? What happened? Hope you're all good now. :)
You're tagged, by the way.
Lovely. Get well soon.
@banno: Thanks. It's getting rather monotonous out here now- I am dying to eat salads and jamun, and to feel fit enough to walk!
@three drinks ahead: Typhoid. Convalescence will take its own time.
I've collected a whole bunch of tags- will do, soon!
@neera: soon, soon!
Uh oh... get well soon...i hope you are feeling better already! This is a lovely poem, I love early morning walks too...missing them now...
@imp's mom: Thank you! I'm enjoying the early morning world from the balcony, the days I manage to get up early! Lots of greenery, some bird calls. Not too bad for now:)
Haha.....so all it took was a hair-cut! I read this and realised I hd been here before, and even commented!
Beautiful Dips! I'm glad I read this now, when I can relate to it so much more :-)
@maggie: I'm glad you liked it and even more glad that your are into it too now:)
sigh. its beautiful, doosi nani.
@the mad momma: Thank you!
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