The glorious early morning routines across India.
It happens all across India - I've seen it.
But today, it was a group of men bathing on a ghat - the banks of a water body.
They were professionals, businessmen and long-time school friends.
They meet every day, early, before sunrise.
Their day starts with bathing, but more importantly, with laughter and connection with friends.
A secret men's club ritual; performed every day without fail.
No rushing to the gym, reading the paper, flying to the school run or choking on coffee or cereals.
They laughed and swam their way into the new day.
And their relaxed minds and bodies sent shallow ripples across the water as the sun rose and lit their way back home.
I have witnessed this slow wake-up to the day in other scenarios across India.
Here are a few brief examples for you to ponder as you hit the alarm button - one more time!
The Business Man
There is a men's gathering in the park in the early morning.
The businessman meets a friend at the bottom of his building.
They walk to the park together, chatting the whole way.
Both men meet with a larger group of regulars and take a few leisurely rounds of the park.
The men discuss the previous night's news items and solve the group's current business and personal dilemmas.
After an hour, the business owner returns home.
He has breakfast waiting. He takes it on the balcony. The paper was delivered earlier, thrown directly to his balcony by the delivery boy.
It's nearly 9 am. The office opens at 11 am.
He reads the papers, sips his tea and prepares for the day ahead.
The Elderly Couple
The birds are chirping, as they have been since about three or four o'clock.
The milk delivery is due soon. Then the first tea is made, and the first tea is consumed.
Today the weather is pleasant. The couple decides on a walk to the local park.
They can't make it every day. They can manage to look after their house, but their energy is limited.
They don't talk much. The couple observes the trees, flowers, street dogs, and new houses under construction.
And as the next group of walkers enters the park, they leave, back home.
Time for tea.
The Metro Mother
The morning is a rush! The kids leave for school in the usual style.
It's still early. Now the busy mum has her time.
She has a kitty party today, a lunch and catch-up with the girls.
The metro mother passes a few instructions to the staff at home.
She then reads a little and heads to the beautician as soon as it opens. Then it's across the street for a quick blow-dry and back home.
The lunch is at 2 pm.
The kids are back after that. It's her time now, her morning today.
I have personally seen these scenarios play out. I'm sure not everyone in India has such mornings.
But I envy those that do.
What do you notice about the Indian way of life? Let me know about your experiences. Comment below.
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