‘Co-exist’ has tend to establish itself as the word of the day in this economically political democratic country of ours. This observation of mine comes from the two time daily 10 minute walk to one of the greatest place to work in the city of trees and gardens. Not to forget the amount of nicotine I am passively forced to take in, leave alone the nitrogens and carbondioxides.
The footpath is the only road in Domlur that ensures guaranteed success in the unbeatable traffic that walks in parallel. As I walk by, I am disturbed by the half dozen unhygienic shelters that have invaded the footpath for a quarter kilometre. The usual scene includes representation of a member from each family settled there. I usually slow down when I see the kid taking a shot at the stones piled in front of him with concentration that reminds me of Arjuna and the bird on the tree. The kids applaud the player’s strike and fight for a chance to display their skills at the game. The women wash utensils in comfort of the stagnant water that refuses to stop releasing pungent smell. The men sit and chat on a half knitted cot gazing at the pedestrians with a look of familiarity.
The last Friday was bit different, in a way that I decided to pack the left over Manchurian for the kids, only with a belief that it would help them develop a high degree of concentration! As I walked towards the much recognizable footpath colony, I wondered if they would even accept what I thought was a delicacy. A girl of ten was my choice of give away. (Could not resist bringing in my feminist perspective)
She looked puzzled but chose to come close, when she noticed me groping for something in my polished brown leather bag. I handed the cover to her and she ran into her tent. The next morning, I heaved a sigh of relief on seeing her stand at the fence. Not sure, if she or any of her family had wished to take the opportunity to digest my offering.
The other moment, I saw a BMW drop one beautiful woman (all branded) in Lavie, Charlie, Biba and Fast track! She passed me, walked through the footpath colony, and disappeared to the left. Then I wondered if this was really an instance of what our policy makers refer to as ‘co-existence’. With a Rs 34.67 margin that lauds them for being above the poverty line, they run for life not with us but right next to us- in parallel! It is just that they ‘side exist’.