Living in a city, people say, is death for the soul. The urban chaos of modern living makes life so enervating and consuming. But look closer, and we find that the rural pastoral scenes we spend thousands to travel to can also be obtained here. How difficult it is though to open our eyes and see something new in the every day matter. “We are strangers unto each other,” Eliot famously wrote in his play The Cocktail Party. I think we ought to treat life so – to wake up each morning, and greet the strangers we are.
In the morning, I was woken by the screech of a myna. I walked to my sister’s house to pick up my lunch. In the kennel, her German Shepherd dog gave a sleepy greeting. Outside, six cows stood, waiting for their owner, their job of milking done, and now the more difficult part of the day to come – finding food. As I took my lunch and came outside, the cows set off. Fresh dung littered the roads. Dung on wet roads is an enticing rural aroma.
Out on the roads, a tractor trudges along. Further along, six or more dogs fight with each other to get the spoils from the milk van. On the flyover, a dog is standing on the safety barricades, and peering down at the police grounds below the flyover, fascinated. Near the market, a row of kites stand patiently. They perch on that one building, waiting for their meal that comes from the fish mongers in the market. And then, a cockroach walks over the car’s windshield. Rural life? We live in it every day. Strangers as we are.