Sunday, June 1, 2008


A few days back I went for a walk in the Durbar Hall ground. The evening was very pleasant and a cool breeze was gently blowing. I saw many children running, playing, screaming and laughing. The parents were sitting at a distance and gossiping. Retired Justice Krishna Iyer was walking slowly with his coterie of old friends discussing court cases. Some Nepali boys who have come to Kochi looking for work were sitting on the grass watching the sun set. Some men and women were walking briskly swinging their arms wildly perhaps on the advice of their doctors.

What struck me most were the young couples sitting at the side of the walkway. This is what I saw them doing.
First couple: The girl was crying quietly and wiping her eyes with handkerchief. Her eyes were red. The young man looked very upset. He was holing her hand and rubbing it tenderly and soothingly. I felt very sad. I walked three rounds and every time I walked past them the scene was the same. I wonder what was her problem.

Second couple: The man had a note book and a pencil in his hand. I think he was writing poetry about the girl. He was reading it out to her The girl was admiring his poetry. She was looking longingly at him and blushing. It was a rare sight. I hardly see ladies blushing these days.

Third couple: The man was cracking one joke after another. I wonder from where he got so many jokes. They were laughing loudly and continuously. The girl was tapping one leg ( she had some sort of plastic slippers) so hard on the ground that you could hear the sound 100 meters away.

Fourth couple: They were just sitting like statues and gazing longingly into each others eyes, completely oblivious of people walking by and staring at them. I wondered if an earthquake was capable of disturbing them. They were in a hypnotic trance.

Fifth couple: They were sitting and leaning against against each other with their full body weight. To me it looked as though they were thinking that one of them will fall down without the other's solid support. Or may be they were passing electricity into each other. Anyway they looked very happy and immensely contented.

I had a good feast for my eyes. As I walked to the bus stop, I thought of my school days in Chennai. The girls and boys would cut classes and spend the whole day in the Museum until one day the Museum director complained to the Principal. That did not deter them one bit. They found out other places like the beach and cinema houses. That was about 40 years back. The couples at the Durbar Hall ground appeared to be very backward. I hope that some expert in the field of Romance will tell me the latest developments in confidence so that I can pass on this invaluable information to the couples when I go for a walk in the ground next time.



Karthik said...

These days we youngsters only have to talk to the opposite sex in public in Chennai to elicit dirty glances.

Add to that moral policing and rules in Engineering colleges where boys and girls are not allowed to talk to each other. (Believe it or not.)

I think those people are as forward as forward can get without getting hacked to death in broad day light in front of a crowd who'd probably cheer.

Joana said...

It's been such a long time since I've just watched the world go by and observed people.