I know her from my morning walks
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.