There is an extremely busy crossing I walk across everyday on the way back. It took me, probably weeks to learn to safely maneuver across it. Because you can never be safe enough. A car or a bus could hit you from any given direction. There are like a hundred vehicles waiting to cross it and another hundred crossing it simultaneously. It's complete chaos. And amidst all that, tiny humans like me are trying to keep aside their regrets for the day and go home in the evening. Their heads calculating so many things at one time. What groceries are to be picked up from the store, did they run out of milk already? Or are they getting enough exercise. Is their marriage alright? Is there spouse talking to them enough? Are they feeling heard alright? And why is it that they haven't had the time to retouch their nail paint for the past week. What would be the kids doing? Could they have gotten by at work any better today? Have their friends of yesteryears left them behind in life for good? So many thoughts. And such a busy intersection to get through.
With the fear for dear life in me intact, I run on the zebra crossing on to the side walk and then again on to the zebra crossing and then again on to the side walk and so on. Waiting adequate stretches of time on every perpendicular road divider. Feet precariously balanced. With countless thoughts in my head too. How old is that tree? Which stands bang in the middle of the intersection. It has a trunk wide enough to be from the sixties. Or fifties. Does it flower even today? Trees never lose their virility, do they? They are forever fertile. Unlike us women. Our biological clocks ticking fast. The tree for instance, must have seen scores of single women cross it every day after work for the several decades of its existence. With their lunch boxes and vanity bags hung on their shoulders. With an umbrella in the rain, or a cardigan in winter. The tree has witnessed so many women like me. And it will, so many many more in the decades to come. When we cease to be, the tree won't. I have a feeling it reads our minds. This tree, is a long standing witness to it all. A quiet repository of the evening emotions of hundreds of women whose footprints form in the dust and are blown away by the subtle, enchanting Bangalore breeze.