It was a rare weekday evening away from work. Never mind that I had just completed an hour-long journey from Churchgate to home, on my feet. Never mind that I had trouble finding a rickshaw to drop me home. A sunset on the horizon, a song on my lips and the wind playing with my hair, I was all smiles.
I remember flashing a smile at the security guard and the lift-man. I turned the key to open the front door, got rid of my work appendages, wolfed down some fruit and rushed out of the door gym bag in hand.
En-route the gym, I spotted familiar sights and faces. A set of grandparents prodding their grandson to “practise” his walk, propped by hands on both sides; a two-year-old discovering the joys of posing for her shutter-crazy daddy and a six-year-old furiously thrashing her legs in the swimming pool. I saw my childhood in those children gallivanting on the swings, the slides and the jungle gym. They were oblivious to their mothers’ words of caution and the receding light. It was one of the few moments in life that I wished to lock within a photograph. But I also didn’t want to ruin the moment with a rude click. I waved out to a few familiar faces. Well, they seemed familiar in the darkness. And there isn’t anything like too many smiles, solicited or unsolicited. Most waved back, adding to my glee.
I smiled at the trainer and a friend I bumped into at the gym. For once, small talk flowed easily and it felt genuine. I got on the treadmill. Slow, lazy strides soon made way for fast, furious ones. I was at a noisier place than I’d have liked to be. It was also ridden with distraction. But unlike a lazy sunny morning, there was no frown on the brow. I didn’t flinch when the trainer came up to me to exchange a few words or took the liberty to vary my pace.
On my way home, the following line (from an article I had read, earlier this week) came to mind, “I remember thinking: ‘In this moment, my life may not be perfect, but I am so happy.’”