The garden gnomes


There is this park near my home where I go for my morning walk. Okay, correction. I TRY to go for my morning walk. Much as I am tempted to put on my earphones during the walk, I almost always listen to my mind (and one of the husband’s very precious gems of advice) to drop all gadgets at least for this brief period of time, and concentrate on the environment instead. Well, that leaves me with the onerous task of minding my step so that I don’t trip over any of the inadvertent stone peaks rising from the jogging track. Or worse, trip over a garden gnome!

‘A garden gnome or lawn gnome is a figurine of a small humanoid creature, usually wearing a pointy hat, produced for the purpose of ornamentation and protection from evil sorcery, typically of gardens or on lawns.’  (Courtesy Wiki). Sorry about the rambling.But this post is not about that. I am talking about the modern gnomes that could very well inhabit any park in your neighbourhood.

Today’s garden gnome categories are listed below, in no evil order.

The Wise and the Wizened: These are our retired male septuagenarians and the most common group of people you can find in any park. Well, with life’s travails conquered, or plainly accepted and delegated to their better halves, their days are agog with an amazing amount of cheer. They therefore shift their attention to world politics, something they always wanted to do in their heydays, but never got around to doing. So, every morning, the more ‘enthu’ cutlets in this group round up the other ‘follower’ personalities to be brainwashed, and launch into an extremely hot debate on what Gandhi, Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and the likes did, or did not do. Their political conversation and views are somehow still stuck in a time-warp spanning from 1950s to 1990s. Well, I am not meaning to understate the importance of any of these events, but hey, who wants to listen to such long-past-gone political trivia first thing in the morning, when all you are intent on is to salvage a moment’s peace to counter the madness of the day lying ahead.

Bottomline: Grow up boys!

Who is the fittest of them all?: In a space where 95% of the people moving about are trying to reduce their potbellies, or control their rising sugar levels, or trying to become fit enough to attempt at least bare minimum physical activity with their kids, this elite group takes the cake for being as fit as you could possibly be, with a 10 on 10 figure, in the perfect exercise attire, and generally appearing to give a look of disdain to the lesser mortals around. This species is generally found to be walking or jogging in anti-clockwise direction (or in a direction opposite to that of the said lesser mortals) so that it’s far more easier to get their right of way and breeze unrestrained at any given time.

Bottomline: Gawd, why are you even exercising? Next time, maybe you could try exercising indoors? Ok? OKAY?

The Blues:  Applicable to either sex, this group is not concerned with walking or exercising. Most of the time, they are staring straight out, in a general state of melancholy. The married couples of this group might sit next to each other on the same bench, but are strictly separated by a chaste distance of minimum two feet. You will often find each of them looking in two different directions, and not saying a word. It is sometimes so unnerving, that you would have probably found it more of a relief, had you seen them having one of these normal ‘married-couple bickerings’ or even hurling a couple of abuses at each other.

Bottomline: Why infect the larger population with your own despair? PDA (Public Display of Affection) may still be acceptable in parks, not this!

The RI of NRI: This clan chooses to converse on all things containing even a remote speck of NRI. They originated when India Inc originated, and started sending out their best men to work on ‘phoren’ shores. All these people have one thing in common – one or more of their tribe has gone or is living abroad. This breed can discuss a wide range of topics right from what-to-carry-to-usa to Obama’s latest outsourcing stand. The IT sector can take a bow to how these people effortlessly demystify the on-shoring saga. No amount of ET reading can compensate for the ‘on-the –ground’ raw data that is dished out here. It requires a certain knack to identify this group, as the species clearly doesn’t believe in loud or over-the –top conversations. Do not dare miss any opportunity to eavesdrop, as the topic may change from ‘ranting about an unmarried NRI daughter in the 40s’ while doing one round of the park, to ‘comparison of top IT companies’ per-diem policies’ in the next round!

Bottomline: You guys clearly need to be elsewhere. Don’t waste your talent by frittering away your collective knowledge in the park.

And then there are the other groups like the Noisy Neanderthals. Whose idea of a good workout in the park is probably to attempt those exercises they are not allowed to do at home.

And you have the Earphone Enthusiasts, where you really need to focus to imagine how their faces would look sans their permanent attachment of ear-phones.

Serial Killers, whose unwavering daily conversation topic is the soap aired the night before.

The Crib Club, where ladies generally rave and rant about the other ladies in their life. But that’s another post altogether… !!