Mornings and evenings, I walk along a small canal that runs behind the house.
Plants, bushes, shrubs irrepressible with colorful flowers that, unfortunately for me, remain unnamed,
Trees that have grown to a perfect shape of a bulb (is that because of trimming?),
Ducks and turtles lazily waddling in the waters fearing no predators,
Quaint foot-bridges cinching the canal like a girl’s waist band,
And occasional raucous call of a bird with proud plumage punctuating the silences,
Even the languid waters in no hurry to flow…
Well, I’m no wordsmith to carry on, but you get the picture?
I haven’t tired myself out yet amateurishly snapping at these. For want of a cable, yet to check on a larger screen if I got them like I had wanted to. These are moments when the eyes of the mind run far ahead of the eyes in the head and the lens in the camera.
On the trail men and women, young and old, pass me walking or jogging, some pushing carts with babies, some with their pets on leash, occasionally a kid cycling. And when they do, a friendly nod is exchanged – a gesture that makes one feel connected with the rest of humanity at least for a moment. And just the thing for many of us socially awkward. No words are called for. At the most, ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Nice weather, eh?’. Of course I also get a share of them who are lost to here and now with ears plugged into music or whatever.
It brings to my mind an incident that happened years ago in HP’s office in Hong Kong. Coming from different countries of far-east, we were undergoing training on various HP systems. One day during the break a colleague of mine, a man of fewest words, on his way to the loo came upon a trainee from Taiwan making his way out after finishing his business. Feeling compelled, like many of us, to make some inane remark, he greeted the trainee with: ‘Coming from the loo?’ The trainee breaking his stride thought for several moments, his face betraying the inner struggle he was passing through, before responding: ‘May be’.
A couple of days ago I saw an elderly looking man walking along with his eyes on the waters and carrying a scoop-net. This was despite the brusque injunctions prominently displayed against fishing in the waters of the canal. The man had a mellowed face that would easily break into a smile if occasion demands. I could not envision him to be an offender flagrantly carrying the scoop like it was his state flag, in a largely law-abiding society. Then, with evil satisfaction, I said to myself: ‘So what if it is US? People are people anywhere.’ Until I saw this man getting closer and scooping out a stray soda can bobbing in the waters.
So much for smart-reading the world.
(More to come 😦 )
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