I know her from my morning walks

The track where I meet her almost every day..and I feel I know her.

My walking track…

She is over 70. Silver hair and wrinkled face. Short like me and always in a saree wearing flats. She walks fast and I see her every morning. Almost every morning. For the last four years, I guess. I don’t know where she comes from and where she goes. She wears toe rings and I see the yellow turmeric on her hands. I see a bindi on her forehead and charm. 

On my non-yoga days, I head out to the park nearby to walk. When I walk alone, I plug in music and I keep looking around for something interesting to click. This distraction helps me take faster steps without feeling the exhaustion and easily sail through my hour out in the park. 

Most of the mornings, while I am half my time through, I see her enter from the rear gate of the park. She comes in alone and quickly joins the track. The pallu is neatly tucked in the waist and a loosely fitted blouse on her frail body, she slowly picks up pace. I see a slightly higher draped saree for comfort and a simplicity in her dressing. 

As she walks, I try to catch up. It is true that a smile begets a smile. Recently, I started wishing her when I see her. I just say, Namaste Aunty and I walk on. She replies and that makes me feel warm. A missing tooth, that big smile and an honesty in her eyes, makes me feel I know her. We never stop to talk. She doesn’t know my name or where I live. I don’t know a word either but on my morning walks, she is a partner. I look out for her as I start and maybe, she too expects to see me every day. 

Maybe what draws my attention is her discipline towards her health. It could also be the familiarity or knowing that in these days, when people don’t know who their neighbors are, there are some who smile at each other. The feeling that not all is so disconnected as we usually talk about. That on morning walks, we meet those same people who see each other every day but how many wave at each other?  

So, the next time you see someone who you see often, stop for that second to smile. Soak in the moment and let it go. Music is an aid but these people are your real companion as you walk on that track. Won’t you agree?

Writing today for the Daily Post Discover Challenge – Portraits

32 Responses

  1. Natasha says:

    A simple experience woven with so much of intensity and love. It’s like soaking in the glory of the walks and brushing past “Aunty”

    Agree with Shalini, your posts are more than heart warming they just stir an array of emotions in such a charming manner.

    A link to one of my posts.
    #WordyWednesday : Way Back Into Love – Natasha Musing

  2. Shalini says:

    Reading your blogs is like absorbing warmth Parul; love the topics you pick to write about and make them so full of life and feelings!
    Lovely read!
    Shalini recently posted…| GuestBlogging | Book Review | The Strange Library | Haruki Murakami | Book set in Japan/China/Turkey |My Profile

  3. Shilpa says:

    I see it a lot here in US. I mastered this art of smiling now. It’s feels so nice to greet someone by just a simple smile. May be that is the only good thing they get in a day😊.

  4. Very true Parul.I see in western countries,people greet each other even if they are strangers.

  5. Janani says:

    Absolutely agree! It is such a pleasant feeling if someone smiles at you or says hi. A chain reaction that spreads 🙂

  6. ajay says:

    I could visualize her and her smile. I do agree with you, Parul. A smile would break all those transparent barriers/boundaries.
    ajay recently posted…Once upon a timeMy Profile

  7. Rajlakshmi says:

    I love this strange connection between two people who don’t even know each other’s names. And all it takes is a smile to make that connection. I loved how you described her and also how diligent both of your are about your health 😀
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Independence Day – A mirage in Assam?My Profile

  8. Sunaina says:

    You described the lady as if she is right there before my eyes. I also like to say a hi to people I see while taking my kids to park. It is as if the familiar faces give a peaceful pleasure. And then the days we don’t see them we miss them.

  9. Vidya Sury says:

    🙂 It is a lovely prompt and I enjoyed reading this, Parul. These “friends” share a place in our lives. I see quite a few when I am out and we smile at each other. It is a nice connection without the need to know each other’s names or even talk.
    Vidya Sury recently posted…Relationships are a blessingMy Profile

  10. Damyanti says:

    I have a similar relationship with a lady who walks around the pool as I swim, we smile and call out greetings as we meet at the end of my laps 🙂

  11. Alicia says:

    It is amazing what a simple smile and nod can do in passing. Sometimes that is the only connection someone makes with another human being during their day.

  12. Eli Ert says:

    Absolutely – would stop for a smile for sure… beautiful thoughtful post dear Parul:-) Hugs
    Eli Ert recently posted…LifeMy Profile

  13. These smiles are like blessings that actually make our day. 🙂

  14. True… and I probably am guilty of tuning out when I am on the street… I guess Its something I need to work on. I’ve drawn myself into my own personal cocoon.
    Roshan Radhakrishnan recently posted…The History of My Country’s Future – India 2050My Profile

  15. Alana says:

    I don’t always smile at people I don’t know, but it is almost like you do know her, in a way. One day you may even be able to find out something about her life story. She sounds like someone the Humans of New York blogger would love to interview.
    Alana recently posted…Local Saturday – A Courthouse Community GardenMy Profile

    • Parul Thakur says:

      I would love to do that with her. I’m sure she has stories to share. With my little knowledge of the language, not sure if that’s practically possible though. Thanks, Alana!

  16. Mabel Kwong says:

    It is amazing how we can connect with each other with so few words but more with their presence and their effort to show up. As you wondered, I am sure this lady is glad to see you each morning as well and it is probably a highlight for her to see a familiar face 🙂 Today I went out to a country town and the people there were so nice. I walked past and they smiled at me – I couldn’t help but smile back 😀

  17. Dashy says:

    That unspoken connection between strangers is lovely and pleasant, isn’t it? My mom readily smiles at anyone who’s there to see, and foreigners have greeted her alone as a response to her smile, even when others were present. Of course, people are our real companion. 🙂
    Dashy recently posted…SisterhoodMy Profile

  18. Bellybytes says:

    If I’m walking in my compound I smile and exchange a few pleasantries with the people I know . But when I walk on the road I often see the same people I’ve passed by for years . There is a glimmer of recognition as our eyes meet. But we keep silent as we walk on.

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