One of the things I absolutely love about Delhi is the number of parks they have (not to mention forts, but this is not about that). All the neighbourhoods I’ve been to have at least a small patch of grass in the middle of a residential block, where kids play and people go for walks, or have laughter-workouts and whatnot.
The one in my neighbourhood wasn’t built around a block though. It was a short 5 min walk away but it was much bigger than usual, with a lovely, mostly tree-lined, track built around it for walks and stuff.
I was dating a guy who was a fitness freak at the time, and he would be outside my apartment building at 5:30 in the morning (seriously! NOT kidding!) where I’d meet him to go for a jog around the park. Early mornings were perfect, as the park would be all misty and surreal-looking, and there was still a nip in the air, but not as cold as the night. In spite of the early hour, the park would be quite busy, with groups of people doing yoga, jogging, exercising, walking their dogs etc. And despite so many people being there, the mistiness of the air would cloak the sounds making everything seem a bit more distant, and that much more peaceful.
After our jog, we’d exercise. And by we, I mean him! :P I was the lazy one (of course!), and I’d sit on the swings and count the number of pull-ups he did on the monkey bars.
We’d then go to the nearby Mother Dairy booth and buy elaichi-flavoured milk which we would take back to the park. There was a tree there with broad, low-hanging branches that grew almost parallel to the ground. That was our tree. We’d climb the tree and sit on a branch, chatting desultorily and just relaxing for a while before starting our day. It was the most indulgent time of day, where we’d talk about the future, dream and laugh and just be.
At the time, I don’t think I realized how damn near perfect life was. These little dates of ours cost almost nothing, but are more precious to me for the memories than I can ever explain.
Life only seems to make sense in retrospect doesn’t it?