There are about 10 parks in a 2 KM radius from my house, in Bangalore! Today I headed towards one of them after the covid break, no particular reason to pick this one. After a few rounds, I walked towards a round
open building with seats, no table, a roof on a few pillars, hoping to find a gang of senior citizens, I had met in the pre covid era.
I sat on a vacant space of a bench trying to recall the faces, recognized two of them, though they did not show any interest.
In the last meeting, I recall, there were seven of them, relaxing after their walk. I entered in the midst of an argument two of them were having on politics. Another guy interrupted and told them, listen , how many times have I told you chaps not to have any debate on politics here.
“The world is divided, none of your arguments have any sense and politics and politicians belongs to a different level, sitting here we can take sides and fight with each other, the only thing you can do is vote against some one you don’t like”.
While this talk on politics was going nowhere, one of them said, “ hey listen, let me tell you something before I forget in this forgetful age”
“You know when NASA started sending astronauts, they realized ball points pen will not work in zero gravity. They spend billions of dollars to develop pens that can be used in space and later asked Russia how do you manage ?”. They replied “we use pencils.”!!
There was lot of laughter around.
One of them was complaining, that he had a very painful tooth extraction done. Immediately, another in the group said that the dentist charged him three times his fees because two of his prospective patients waiting for their turn ran away hearing his scream.
The victim of this joke immediately retaliated, you know this guy, when the doctor told him that he should walk 2 kilometer everyday, disappeared. After 2 weeks he calls his doctor friend, and the doctor shouts at him , “ where are you talking from, we are worried about you” ?
This fellow replied, “ I am 30 kilometers away from my home, you told me to walk 2 kilometers every day…..!!”.
I was thinking of joining the laughter club in the park, where people get together and start laughing as part of exercise. Not necessary, here is free service available.
Though I was not a participant in this group of strangers, I felt comfortable and decided to be an audience, when another voice pitched in.
“My grand daughter wanted to buy a locket of Goddess Saraswati and I went with her to the shop, he had to search for it and found two pieces and added that laksmi’s lockets are available in plenty, very few ask for Saraswatis’.”
“Lakshmi being Goddess of wealth, there is big demand, Saraswati is the Goddess of learning, it shows why Lakshmi is popular.”
One member in a blue t-shirt broke in
“look at the picture of Lakshmi, she is standing on a lotus in water, unsteady, which has a message that wealth is something can come and go in no time, it’s temporary”.
“Similarly look at Saraswathi, the Goddess of learning, music, wisdom, she is sitting on a rock, that is solid, it’s permanent”.
That’s something not many know and thoughtfully some of them clapped, a realization dawning
A new topic came up when some body was cured of a prostate cancer, when a tall man said “ it is curable if detected early like any other cancer” and then he looked at a guy across and said “ regular sex can prevent that cancer”.
“At this age I can love, but I cannot make love”, they brought the roof down.
And there were more unconnected entertainment, I have to think harder to recall all of them.
With this old memory of one meeting, I told the person, “2 years ago I had seen a group here of 6 or 7, having fun, where are they?”
He looked at me, searching my face, wondering who I am and said, “Two of them..” gestures his hands upwards, “other three are at home, worried about Covid, safe, they will be coming soon”.
I smiled and moved away leaving behind the two of them, engaged in small talks.