Thursday, October 15, 2009


It was when I was a teenage girl, full of adventure and excitement. And one of the most adventurous things was to pay a visit to bonta (a botanical garden at Delhi university). This use to be an evening expedition with a group of friends. We use to plan on summer afternoons over the phone, meet up at someone’s place and then, putting it in my lingo then we use to “hit the road”.
That was where I saw him first a medium build old man smartly dressed up in shorts n tees with running shoes and socks, nicely held black (colored hair), with a very significant thick white eyebrows. His eyebrow is actually what made me notice him. He had a companion who more appeared like some of his bodyguard with a comparatively strong build. They both held stick in there hand and use to walk fast.
I encountered him first time at the entry of bonta, it was the only time I had a verbal communication he looked at us and said “you kids should take sticks along as the monkeys often get aggressive and hurt people”. I nodded and smiled and pulled out a stick from nearby tree. He smiled back and walked away in his usual fast fashion.
Then I started having a glimpse of him on a regular basis. We greeted each other by exchanging smiles, while walking pass each other. For few years I often saw him and unconsciously knew where he would encounter me as I was well acquainted with his walking speed. At times I use to set targets of my walking sessions by comparing our walking speeds.
I got enrolled in a college that is about 300 km from Delhi. I shifted to a hostel and my regular evening walks to bonta went a miss. I perhaps had no one to compare my speed with. On vacations at home I never missed taking the walk, as it is my way of spending time with me. Not to forget mentioning that he was always there! I could figure out he is a man of principles, rules and regulations. He always use to acknowledge my come back and welcomed me with a bright smile. Last year's summer was the last time I saw him he was growing old and week. I passed a smile at him and walked by.
I have been busy all the time with lot of things. So could not get time for evening walks lately. But now as I have ample time I started it again and it has already been a few days that I am visiting the same place a walk, but the sad part is that I cannot find him anymore. From last two days I have been terribly missing that stranger and hope will get to see him soon.
I hope he is fine and doing well, though I don’t know even his name, His occupation or anything about him. There was this strange relation of greeting with smile. It was as if I knew him and was comfortable to have him around. Its strange how I felt so secure in presence of this stranger, felt as if he was a guardian angel…


  1. I also remember that uncle...

    Nice observation an beautifully crafted into words :-)

  2. nice story of your life...
    though i don't know the uncle but, may god bless him and keep him happy, where ever he is.

    nicely depicted.

  3. hitherto best from your side.......