That's the way I like it

Isn't it strange how we get used to things? When I first started my post-dinner walks in this new city I used to miss the vibrancy of Mumbai nights. In Mumbai our society had plenty of 'late-nighters'. When I would come down at ten there would be scores of families complete with kids, out for a walk or to get some ice cream or to catch a late night coffee. I loved the happy shouts of the kids, the dads playing with them, the moms looking on relaxed.

Here our society is full of ex-army men, mostly senior citizens. By 9 the gardens are almost empty.. by 9.30 everyone's gone. I freaked out a bit when I started my walks with just the guards looking on.

Apparently I got used to it. I didn't realise when I stopped worrying about being alone, when I started revelling in the peace and quiet, when I started tapping my fingers and nodding away to the tune in my headphones, when I started lip-syncing the songs silently (not discounting the probability of singing aloud too). With just the guards looking on morosely, I came to think of it as my personal walking area (presumptuous, I know).

Then the other night I saw a family walking towards me and I was taken aback. I stopped short mid song and wondered what they were doing down so late. Of course they were just taking a walk like me. Yet, I disliked the 'intrusion'. I disliked the kid's shout and wondered why he wasn't in bed on a weeknight (I know that's weird but that's what I did think). I stopped my happy lip syncing and walked in a self conscious silence waiting to cross them at each round.

Since that day the family's been down occasionally and I'm getting used to their presence. It's funny .. this getting used to business. Funny how we get used to situations, people and places... at the gym I have a favourite treadmill, a favourite cross trainer, a favourite locker, a favourite place where I stand for my aerobics. And strangely enough I find I have the same people around me during the sessions... so apparently others too have these preferences.

Strange na how we get used to things for no apparent reason.. We have fixed places at the dining table, fixed sides of the bed, the kids have preferred places in their school bus too... Strange, isn't it.. these inexplicable preferences?

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