Ever so often you’ll meet people, who the general public have pronounced, somewhat batty. I am always looking for these people, they offer an excellent insight, for they are usually far less inhibited in their behaviour and speech (which is one of the reasons why they are thus categorised, I presume). I met one such lady a few months ago, an elderly woman, slightly built, with henna coloured-cropped hair, in an ill-fitting salwar kameez, of a colour that had long lost any dignified qualification. I was playing with my kids, it was morning. I am very quiet in the morning, and I dislike human interaction at this time (at most other times as well, but particularly at this time). This lady was in the process of some experimental calisthenics (and in my opinion, highly ineffective). This is something peculiar to my locality, or perhaps it is not, I have lived in the same place for too long. Every morning, men and women of all ages indulge in strange body movements, that seem to require no effort at all, and are of no conceivable purpose. These exercises are done every day, diligently, seriously, and over months these people seem only to grow shorter and fatter and grumpier. However I digress.
This lady was clearly disturbed by my presence, and even more so, by that of my dogs. She went into a long rant about the filthy animals, and how I should take them away, for this space was for civilised human beings only. As I have previously commented, I do not like talking in the morning, I ignored her tirade, finished playing with the kids and hastily retired to the confines of my own brick and mortar. This incident repeated itself over the next 3 mornings, when finally, I turned to her and asked her if we were not all part of God’s creation, and wasn’t the morning, and surely you must know this as an older and wiser person, for prayer and meditation. She vaguely grunted in response. The next day she said nothing and then she stopped her morning rituals in this particular park.
I was walking Marla right now, and my path crossed hers. She beamed at us, addressed me as ‘child’, and asked after my welfare. She then started gleefully mumbling, I understood not a word, but smiled at her and wished her happiness. Needless to say, I also walked away smiling, rather quickly, before she changed her mind.
I like to think, that perhaps, she has changed.