Santosh Bakaya wonders at the invisible painter up there, splashing bright hues on two lovebirds, while their heart-warming sight brings out the darker side of people around.
Morning Meanderings is a musings column by Dr Santosh Bakaya. Enjoy her jottings with a hot cup of tea. 🙂
I was late for my morning walk today, even the sun appeared to have an air of disapproval about it, and the chirps of the birds seemed angry too. Or maybe I was giving myself too much importance?
A group of joggers, all clad in yellow jogging suits, was coming towards me from the opposite direction. Afraid that they would shove me out of the way, I stopped near the benches fronting the park temple. But the joggers stopped too, as if an invisible wizard had turned them to stone. The few old people sitting on the benches, who were looking around listlessly, suddenly lost their listlessness and were all ears and eyes towards a particular direction.
Right below a luxuriant gulmohar tree, fronting the temple, a young couple had appeared. They sat on a bench, lovingly holding hands, and whispering into each other’s ears, lost to the whispers, cackles and guffaws, of the joggers turned voyeurs of the park.
One foot forward, one foot back, one eye cocked in their direction, one ear tuned to their whispers. That seemed to be the pattern of their jog. One jogger, almost tripped in his effort to eavesdrop on their whispers, one ear still glued and one eye still turned to the couple.
In the rabid scenario of sneers, scowls and rampant ugliness, this tiny beautiful indulgence was so heart-warming.
But some people thought otherwise.
“Look at them, how brazen!” A man in red jogging pants joined the group in yellow, and hissed, nudging his companion, who flaunted a purple jogging suit.
“What has the world come to?” The companion retorted, his face also turning purple in indignation. Yes, the invisible wizard was really in a colorful mood today.
“They must have told their parents that they were going for a walk, and here they are becoming the talk of the town.” An old woman stopped midway in her bhajan, crinkled her nose, demurely adjusted her sari pallu , cast a baleful look at the love-drenched couple and shook her head dolefully , giving the cue to the rest of the bhajan singers to shake theirs too!
So in sync with the shaking of indignant heads and furtive looks cast in the direction of the couple, the sing-sing cadences of the bhajans, based on Bollywood love lyrics, continued .
There was love in the air, but someone was soulfully singing a Jagjit Singh number, ”Tum itna jo, muskara rahey ho? Kya gamm hai jo chipa rahey ho.” (Why are you smiling away, what grief are you trying to hide?)
The priest heading towards the park temple, suddenly stopped in his tracks, cast a sly look in the direction of the lovebirds, while the birds overhead robustly cheered them on.
“Tauba tauba, ghor kalyug!” he intoned, as he rang the temple bell, in perfect harmony with the rapid clucking of a fiery tongue.
I walked on, smiling to myself, by now the sun too was one big smiley. It had sent some shiny ambassadors the way of the couple, and when I looked back, I was enchanted to find them oblivious to what was going on around them, sheathed in a golden halo, hands still held tight. The invisible painter up there was also splashing bright hues. But, the competitive display of the hues of the wizard and the painter, paled before the hues of love that I saw before me. So pure. So pristine.
An aeroplane was cruising merrily in the sun-drenched sky, and the trees were dancing with a coordinated grace, happy at the loving kisses that the sun was so magnanimously showering at them. Enthused by the sun’s love song, the man singing the sad song, had started singing a happy love song.
But, alas, the temple priest, still barricaded behind an ominous scowl, who was too busy ringing the temple bell, remained untouched by the sunrays.
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