We had a very hearty meal at an Indian restaurant in Miami last Sunday. Sujoy and me were so full with all the hogging that in the evening Sujoy suggested to take a walk in 'The Central Park'. I was amused thinking Sujoy is referring to the Central Park in New York. I still gave him the benefit of doubt thinking its the desi Kingfisher effect ;). But no my husband was completely sobre and in his senses and was talking about the Central Park in Plantation, where we stay. Till then I had not heard about this park.
So we took our car and drove to this park Sunday evening on a mission to get rid of some of the guilt associated with chicken tikka masala and buttery naan. The park is huge. Open spaces in the US still amaze me, the landscape and enormity of the parks gives me goosebumps. We enter the park and I can see 5 different fields where different types of sports are happening, a jogging track and a walking track around a lovely lake with a fountain.
The park seemed a busy place with lots of activities happening around and participants being people from all age groups. We started taking a walk around the fountain, which by the way was used by ducks too to commute. We saw an owl nesting area along our walk.
There were multiple games happening on fields. Soccer game of girls on one field, some guys were practicing baseball and there was a group of kids practicing net ball. And I wondered to myself sports plays such a pivotal role in peoples' life here. The kids were in the best sports gear and helmets, something which you will not see back in India.
We took one round around the fountain when Sujoy decided to ditch me and go for a run on the jogging track. So here I was alone walking amongst a bunch of people doing the best I do, 'observe'.
So I listen to people's conversation who are walking alongwith me. Two women maybe in their 40s are discussing about a party they attended on Saturday and were completely disappointed with their host. Seems the host did not have enough of vegan options and how these women literally starved themselves at the party and ate after coming home. I speed up a little and decide to overtake these women.
Then I hear a girl asking her bf about what should she wear for the Halloween. She gives him 2-3 choices. The guy seemed bored (very normal I believe). Never the less he bravely picks up one choice and tells her. She makes a face and says, "I look fat in that". Guy gives a sigh. Then he picks other one. She says. "Hmmm....I can but maybe I will wear the third one". And I am thinking if she had already decided what to wear, why to go through all this drama. And the guy gave me a look as if he read my mind and was so agreeing with me. The couple disembarked from the track and went wandering on the grass.
I steadied my pace. Then I saw a group of small girls chasing the ducks. Poor ducks were running for their life into the lakes where the girls could not reach them. I thought of giving the girls a piece of my mind but controlled myself. With my bodyguard jogging somewhere far off, it was not a good idea to take up a fight with someone who are 8 in no. I ignored those girls and paced ahead.
There was this super enthusiastic exercise group. It was a mix group again. I loved the way they were enjoying their workout. Seemed so much fun. The instructor had engaged all of them with small small races and activities. The were hopping, frog jumping, stretching over the grass. There was a positive energy amidst this group.
My 2 rounds around the lake were done and still there was no sign of Sujoy. So I sat on a bench facing the fountain. And I was mitigating on something when a toddler came running to me and sat on the bench. He was followed by his mother and I made space for her also to sit. They were Spanish. But it did not matter as the toddler was still babbling and not forming words and it was immaterial if he spoke English, Spanish or Russian. It amazed me to see how two people can get connected without speaking the same language.
I was playing with this toddler when there was a tap on my shoulder. And here at last my husband came back to me after abandoning me halfway. So we were leaving when the toddler babbled something and I heard, "Don't go". Such games your mind plays with you. But the toddler indeed did not want us to go. I came back to him and said we will meet soon.
The walk was refreshing and I was thinking we should come this park often. And as we were walking towards our car I asked Sujoy, "So what should I wear for the movie tonight?" And his face said it all and I was wondering if someone is listening to our conversation currently :)