What is a city park?

A shocking encounter that how there is difference between urban and rural walks.


1. A city park.



What is a city park?



A city park is a place where in the evenings a whole lot of people gather where they keep on circling the artificially greened little area trying to remain oblivious of the presence of one another.


And if God forbids by chance their eyes meet for a second (though they always try not to look at each other by hard gazing at the ground) they hurriedly change their course to the ground, as if their eyes were capable of calling the doomsday if they met.


I was intrigued on encountering this phenomenon on my very first evening walk in Chandigarh. My son who works here as a clerk in Municipal Corporation brought me here. In reality, I was coerced by him to leave my ancestral village Pandherkheri in Ludhiana, Punjab to live with him in Chandigarh after my wife’s sudden and sad demise due to heart attack.


My son thought that I will die lonely in my village and after a few days of death of my wife, I too felt the need of company but what both of us did not know that in search of company we would get a rude shock.


That evening he took me to a park called terrace garden for my evening walk. I was excited at the prospect of meeting new people and getting a chance to talk incessantly to the intelligentsia of this city.


As soon as I saw an elderly man about my age who was in a white shorts matched with a beautiful sky blue tee walking briskly towards me I bowed my head and wished him, “Ram! Ram!”


At that time, I did not know that I was actually offending him. I was supposed to mind my own business in a city.


This gentleman casted a whole weird look from my head to toe and instead of wishing me back, shrank his nose and diverted his eyes to the ground and ran past me.


I was unable to understand such kind of rude behaviour from a gentleman especially a city gentleman who are known for their gentlemanly behaviour.


On second thought, I concluded that my attire consisting of dhoti-kurta might have given him a look of an illiterate fellow.


As I was  trying to heal my wounded self respect by trying to devise some new excuse for this shocking matter, my son gently tapped on my shoulder and said, “ Babu ji you are not supposed to call any stranger here.”


“Everyone is a stranger to me here beta,” I protested.


“It’s the way of the city,” replied my son with a long sigh.


I did not reply to him.


Then many people of various ages and both genders passed me but none of them even bothered to take a glance on my face. All of them were busy hard gazing the ground as if they were trying to decipher some code written on the ground.


Until now we have taken four circle rounds of this small park and already I was feeling my head revolving. I was not accustomed to this manner of walking where you have to make rounds of a small place repeatedly amidst the ocean of humans acting as robots.



And to add insult to injury these robots are used to walk only the narrow concrete path laid in a round manner in the park. The concrete area is so small that there is literally a kind of jam where everyone is trying to overtake you and some of them  do  not care if they have to push you off this track to make their way.


On encountering, this I reminded the lines of my son that it is the way of the city.


Where you can be trampled if you do not fasten your pace or give way to others.


On remembering about my village walks I became nostalgic. I think my son was able to sense this as when we reached home and I asked his permission to go back he did not protest.


I took a sigh of relief on reaching my village where the whole village was waiting for their wise man, who was a mad man in the city.



 My Blog : Lifelongstolive.blogpsot.com



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