Sunday is the day before Monday, it’s a day to dust and clean, change the sheets, cook elaborate breakfasts, complete chores, tackle pending work deadlines, enjoy long afternoon naps, read that book that you never have time for and occasionally find a surprisingly good foreign language film on World Movies. But I wanted this Sunday to be different. My husband - A and daughter - M were game, provided I gave them the time and space to get done with mid morning naps, face-booking and reading the Sunday Hindu Magazine.
It was 12noon and the inveterate foodies that we are, our stomachs started growling on cue. After some back and forth, we settled on Infinitea on Cunningham Road. Infinitea of course is a tea parlour, but that does not prevent it from serving some delectable mains that are mouth watering. The Mousakka was pure manna from heaven, as was the tangy Mediterranean chicken and the tea garden salad. A opted for a cucumber and mint sandwich (La De Da, I’m surprised it didn’t contain watercress) but stole tidbits from our plate, whenever we looked the other way.
We washed down our meal with some amazing teas. M and I choose Gyokuru (which translates as jewelled or jade dew due to the pale green colour of the tea liquor), a green tea (duh!) from Japan, which is grown in the shade, wonderfully fragrant and has an almost sweet flavour. A chose Ginger Lemongrass Wild Bush tea, from Western Australia. Almost like a tisane, its delicate flavour warmed our heart and was a sure cure for the sniffles. We were provided with sand clocks to ensure that the tea is brewed for the proper duration and I was so charmed that I want to get one for myself. I had a vision of yours truly wearing a floral outfit and a straw hat, seated in a garden next to a wrought iron table that has an elegant Royal Doulton teapot filled with Darjeeling, tea cups with rose patterns on them and crumpets filled with clotted cream that I can nibble on.
Replete with a full stomach, we had a choice between going home for a snooze or doing something interesting. The snooze was tempting, but surprise surprise, M suggested we go to Cubbon Park. Cubbon Park (quoting from Wikipedia) was originally created by Major General Richard Sankey the then British Chief Engineer of Mysore State in 1870.It now covers about 300 acres and has over 6000 plants/ trees belonging to 96 species. Tabbebuia, Flame of the Forest, Silver Oak, Pongamia (Honge), Mahogany, the Rain Tree and other trees vie with each other for space and attention.
Cubbon Park was a delight and we meandered through the park in no particular direction. We saw majestic trees with wide canopies, shaded bricked pathways with little mud paths leading away or merging into them, like tributaries to a river. We went off the beaten path and encountered families on a Sunday picnic with food galore; couples totally immersed in each other, the park providing privacy in a public space, away from invasive eyes of family and worse the police. Children greedily licked at their ice lollies, chomping on salty popcorn and stuffed their mouths with cotton candy in a variety of hues. I looked up and saw the branches spread overhead, forming a latticed pattern that filtered the sunlight through as thin diffused beams. The grass beneath was a dark earthy green and I yearned to lie down, stretch out and catch forty winks.
But, wait, what did I see, but garbage strewn everywhere despite the strategic placement of dustbins and garbage cans by the Park Authorities every few meters. Karnataka’s Former Chief Justice Vikramjit, who used to go for early morning walks in the Park and kept tabs on its cleanliness, has been elevated to the Supreme Court. With its champion gone, it has once again become a dumping ground for kitchen waste and other garbage. M picked up discarded plastic cups and bags and deposited them in the nearest bin. She did this as we walked through the park and got strange looks from other visitors, but was determined to do her bit, a drop in the ocean.
We walked through a bamboo grove and were mesmerized at the sight of the long tall grass swaying in the wind. As we stood in a small clearing surrounded by tall bamboo, rustling and clacking, I saw the grass as endowed with qualities like tenacity, uprightness, integrity, elegance and simplicity – seldom seen in us humans now days. We walked back to our car, dual emotions of delight and disgust warring in our heart.
I came home and looked up Haikus on Bamboo on the net. Here are a few for your reading pleasure.
Gentle summer breeze
Carrying a groaning rustle
Bamboo sparring with bamboo
I asked the bamboo
Where does your journey end?
Beyond that cloud, he replied
My love is
Like bamboo; growing each day
Swaying freely; deeply rooted
I sit down on my couch like I usually do, but don’t turn to the TV or a book for instant gratification. I am filled with an indefatigable sense of wellbeing and satisfaction. Not even the occasional stray thought of waste strewn around in the park or the rush of the impending week can defile my memories. Monday will bring with it, chaos, confusion and pandemonium, but in the present, all is well, and as it should be on a lazy Sunday.