A Walk Among Laterals


You must be familiar with one-of-those-days when you finally decide to start something that you have been planning to do for so long even its providence is lost in the sands of time. It was one such morning and I was highly motivated to put an end to the looming question ‘would I ever?’. My phone started buzzing at an odd time of the day but I knew better than to put it off. It took me nearly five minutes to adjust my bearings and another five to put on my shoes. Instead of feeling fresh and vigorous I felt tired and sleepy.

I walked out on the street and inhaled deeply. The air was supposed to be refreshing at this time of the day but I couldn’t feel the difference. So I tried it again but no good. May be it was because of my not-so-active nose or that being my first foray into a new world. I started walking along the lanes and by-lanes of the nearby area and was taken by surprise seeing so many people already on the streets – running, jogging, walking. Even though these were the people whose faces I might have seen at one point or the other, I felt like a floater. And it was not because I didn’t know most of them in person, but because of the fact that I had missed a small detail – my phone. It was nearly five in the morning but everybody was busy with their smartphone, even while walking. The joggers and runners were lost in music with their fancy headphones. The by-walkers were typing furiously on their phones. I wondered who they would be talking to at this time. Or were they just texting to each other? Some of them were playing games, while others were watching videos as they passed by.

I couldn’t help but wonder about our dependency on technology as I walked among the laterals. They were there but they were somewhere else. The concept fascinated me but it irritated me even more. I walked on my path – observing, analysing and contemplating. Everyone seemed to be on autopilot, and maybe I was too as I didn’t try to disrupt the aberrant harmony among the laterals.

A few moments later a dog started following me. Normally I would have shooed it away because of my childhood fear of dogs. I was bitten three times by three different dogs at three different point of time in my childhood. But this dog didn’t seem so scary. It started wagging its tail after I halted and caressed its forehead. I had seen pet dogs doing it. It either meant that it was happy to see me or that it wanted something. Like all living things it just wanted love but I knew better than to be philosophical all the time. I went to the nearby dairy to buy a packet of milk. It followed me. I didn’t know why they(dairy owners) had to open their shops so early in the morning. But it served my purpose so I didn’t give it a second thought. The person seemed nice as he offered me a bowl to serve the milk to the dog. Maybe it was the dog’s usual practice to bring a person by showing affection to passers. Or maybe the person was actually nice. I watched as the dog licked the milk. It was a relief to watch someone, a dog in this case, in its natural state of being in a factitious environment. The dog again started wagging its tail as soon as it finished the milk. I caressed its forehead one last time as I continued my walk among the laterals.

When I returned home from the morning walk, I lay on my bed again trying to digest this new experience. I wondered if tomorrow would be the same experience. I wondered if I would meet the dog again. I wondered if it would recognise me. I wondered if I would even wake up this early the next morning. I wondered if ‘Wonder Woman’ wondered so much. And amid all these thoughts my body decided to relax a bit, result of an unusually exhausting experience- both mentally and physically. The ‘wondering’ part could be completed later.

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Author: Danger_DX™

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