Musings from My Morning Walks

01 May

This blog post was triggered by my walk this morning. Contrary to normal practice, I was not listening to my iPod today and was also a walking a little later in the morning than is usual. Today was a public holiday here in Mumbai and so I did not have to rush through my morning routine.

As can be expected from me, I was walking along at a chugging pace, deep in thought.

Some of my friends complain that when I walk or drive, unless they jump in front of me and I collide with them, I will not notice them. And even then, just may be! Ashamed Smiley

Portrait of a North Indian Lady
Raja Ravi Varma – Portrait of a Lady

About 5 minutes into my walk, I suddenly stopped short because an auto-rickshaw pulled up right in front of me. I was really annoyed at the “stopping on a dime” trick and looked up to see a little girl, may be 7 or 8 years old, alight from the auto.

She was all dressed up as a traditional Maharashtrian lady, in a nav-vari saree, nath (nose ring), veni (woven flowers) in her hair, and a pooja thali in hand. She could have just as well stepped out of a Raja Ravi Varma painting.

Karl Marx

Karl Marx

She was followed by a young boy, perhaps 10 years old, carrying a red flag and dressed in a suit with a wig of flowing white hair and a cotton beard. And then came a middle-aged lady dressed “normally”!

It was a surreal moment before I realised that today was May 1; both Labour Day and Maharashtra Day, and that I was walking past a school. And the little boy was Karl Marx. 🙂

It reminded me of another morning walk on another public holiday, a few months ago; again involving schools and school students. As usual, I was walking at a brisk pace and it was about 7 AM when I suddenly noticed my fellow walkers coming to a halt and standing still; where they were.

The Mumbaikar that I am, my first thought was that there is some sort of trouble ahead. But the fact that people were just standing still and not turning back did not gel with this thought. Just as I was puzzling over things came the first notes of Jana Gana Mana, India’s National Anthem, wafting through the air. It was January 26, India’s Republic Day, and we were passing by a school. The school children were in, bright and early, for the traditional flag hoisting and were now singing the National Anthem.

Animated flag of India.

Flag of India.

What touched me was that the man (and woman) on the street stopped to pay respects when Jana Gana Mana was sung in a school that they were passing by. And everyone (including early morning cooks and workers at a nearby famous eatery, milk men, newspaper boys; just about everyone) stood still till the National Anthem ended. And then joined the school children in a resounding Jai Hind!

Jai Hind! indeed, and Jai Maharashtra! Mumbai is one of the few places where you could see and experience such things!


Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Musings


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

6 responses to “Musings from My Morning Walks

  1. utpalaj

    May 2, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    I am glad to be here as I enjoyed your musing as well as tech blog. As a fellow early days Powerbuilder and C programmer, it is great to discover someone with similar technical love!

  2. Soma Mukherjee

    May 2, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    What a lovely write up Aruna

  3. Lopa

    May 5, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Aamchi Mumbai…:)
    It was a pleasure to read this!

  4. annapoornablog

    June 22, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Hey Aruna,

    Wonderful post. I could feel the freshness of morning walk in your writing. Liked your picture selection. Keep writing.


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