Walking in the park and other thoughts…

Living in this new complex has been quite a life shift. For one the people who live here are not exactly People Like Us. These are people of a different variant. For one. Some of them have duplexes. Or entire floors. Others have their homes kitted out in Real Versace Furniture. Suffice to say the clunk of my jaw hitting their polished Italian marble cracked a fair bit of it, when I saw said entire sofa and dining and bar set with the telltale Greek meander motif and dared ask the woman of the house politely about where she sourced said lovely furniture.
Others have personal trainers helping them do workouts in the Japanese garden area every morning. Yet others emerge from lifts with their hair blowdried to perfection while I hastily smoothen my autorickshaw blown hair into some semblance of manageability.
Yet others have retinues of help who march behind them when they go on their evening walk routines. Yesterday I rubbed my eyes, hard, when I saw a drum shaped woman march down the jogging track, yapping loudly into her phone, with one maid following her holding on to a irritable infant, the second maid following maid one, carrying a huge baby bag bursting at the seams with bottles, diapers and assorted toys and a third following the first two holding a napkin and a small bottle of indeterminate liquid within it which contained probably some energy drink given that more energy was being dispensed in the talking over the phone than actually being consumed by the walking.
Another dropped by in neighbourly manner and was astounded that I didn’t have a full time maid and was actually, gasp, shock, die, doing all the serving and clearing myself. With my own two hands. I did deliver a short discourse on the importance of being self reliant, but did mention than in terms of cooking an edible meal I was absolutely dependent on my trusty cook who had kindly agreed to do a once a day trip to the new place, given that it was a five minute auto ride away.
I wonder, if me, with my Solid Middle Class Sensibilities, would be able to fit here. Every evening I walk along the track and notice the women walking along. They are wary, hesitant to crack a smile, lest I decide to worm myself into a conversation. I desist. I stop myself from smiling at strangers so they continue to remain strangers because I can see the wariness in their eyes.
There is the other variant of people here. People who seem to be People Like Us. Dressed in regular non designer labels with non designer bodies and hair, and women who look every bit the harridan mom I so identify with. These are women with whom I could perhaps be friends if they would let me. But there are cliques formed already and the ranks are closed. So I walk on alone, with my blackberry in hand, tweeting to friends in the virtual world and googlegroup emailing to friends from the real world who welcome me. I can spam their Time Lines with infinite smileys and be assured that they will not freeze me out with a cold stare.
Who am I kidding? I am feeling terribly girl gang deprived. Am getting withdrawal symptoms. Am sure some night the spouse is going to be startled into wakefulness with me cackling manically about some gossip I never heard and see me threshing around helplessly with some secret in my stomach I just need to spill.
Going to plan a girl’s lunch soon. I need some bonding time with a girl gang. I need to chat with friends who won’t be sneak peeking at the carats on my ears and fingers.
On the flip, maybe this is God’s Great Plan to ensure that I really do concentrate on the walking and not get sidetracked by riveting discussions on how 1205 had a zinger of a fight with her husband the other day and much furniture was hurled around by both parties. I have miles to go and kilos to be lost. This is what I am meant to be doing. Walking. Seriously. I am so going to get them hairpin bend curves back into place. Even if I have to be antisocial to get them.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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15 Responses to Walking in the park and other thoughts…

  1. Awwwww! I hope you have a good ol’ girly lunch soon!

    And cheers to them hairpin bend curves!


  2. Hetal says:

    You have brought up a very good point…. I have been in the US for close to 14 years out of which the first 10 were spent in the highly diverse CA. Then we moved to the mid west and I am observing similar things you are going through with the “white” Moms at my kids’ school.
    Your post has really set me thinking. If we can experience this in our own homeland,….this is a foreign country…. how can I expect them to accept me so easily?


  3. anonymous says:

    Kiran, are you really middle class..aah come on, if you have such wealthy neighbors it surely means you have bought yourself a house in a very posh complex and these kind of ppl are part n parcel of such places…you knew where you were investing your hard earned money…. hai na??bolo bolo…


  4. maidinmalaysia says:

    two facts:
    whenever there’s vada in the conversation i’m in.
    and whenever there’s mumbai-bashing i’m in.

    i found mumbai to be v. busier-than-thou.
    and i was too lazier-than-thou to fit in.

    i recommend pretending to snooze in the bench in the walking area. that’ll shake em up, i tell ya.


  5. Ohh well… I am sure some of your new neighbors are gonna read this post… and then you will become BFF. NJoi.


  6. Sue says:

    It’ll get better. Give it time. I speak as one who has had to fit into radically different communities at least five times in her life. It’ll take time but they will eventually get used to you. Krish’s fitting in will help, of course.


  7. kalpana says:

    hey its called ‘From Hut in Duplex’ these riches have no class just money, the louder they yell better they feel i too use to come across such hifi mom year back when i use to take my son to nursery ..one for them ‘drop dead’


  8. So real. Loved that one sentence “jaw dropped and cracked their marble…” good one:)



  9. dipali says:

    Hey Kiran: Middle class has class! Filthy rich- no class.
    Middle class values are values you can live by.
    By the by, you are one pukka classy lady, so chin up.


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