I love a routine that keeps changing – an oxymoron, yes. There is certain stuff I need to do in a particular sequence and then there are things where I regularly shake things up. Food, exercise, music and books, the set-up of my room, places and faces around are just some examples.

I think I have mentioned I love running. But I tire of the treadmill. So I hunted for other options for a change of pace and path. Now there is a running track close to my place that I have been haunting for two years now. To empty my mind, I unknowingly started making observations and filed them to memory during my runs.

And I saw the beauty routine brings. I remember faces and the company they keep. I have been an unintended witness to the transitions that they have been through. A lady who used to get a stroller for her baby now holds her hand as they walk together. Those tiny feet used to be encased in booties and now carry an exuberant talkative munchkin. I have seen the woman become a little soft around the edges and smile secretly at the antics of her daughter. She is restrained when an older lady accompanies her – perhaps her mother-in-law?

I also see a man with a big handlebar mustache who has been a regular around the track. He has changed too! About two years back, he was morbidly obese and could only walk a few steps before stopping. And now his strides are brisk, considerable pounds lighter. The only thing not changed is his set determined expression. He does not look up and nod at people unless he is at rounding a corner.  He is one hundred percent focused on his walk.

Then there is a set of cute grandparents. Walking stick in each hand, a grocery bag strung over one shoulder at times – they stick to one round. No more. No less. There is a group of people they frequently run into. Grandpa is the one with the booming voice and Grandma has a gentle hum to her laugh. They look so sorted! And they always smile at me whenever I happen to pass by, calling out a “saavkash beta” (Take care child!) when I trip – which happens a lot!

Who knew I was a closeted stalker people-watcher?? Makes me wonder what guest appearances I may have made for other people, slipping in and out with no set days. What they might have seen on my face over the last two years?

Tell me a story about your observations. About those strangers who are so familiar for a few moments.


20 thoughts on “Routines

  1. Ha!.. guess.. i’ll go first..
    first of all i have an actual
    Syndrome named Asperger’s..
    diagnosed at age 47.. only as
    a side note of physical illnesses and
    such at that age coming from severe
    and chronic 2 year fight or flight stress..
    yes.. for 2 years or so in the work place..
    somewhat common these
    days as multi-tasking
    humans to
    per efficiency.. humans
    as tools has now become
    a new age rule.. anyWay..
    repetitive restrictive special
    interests.. is a natural routine of that
    syndrome.. and for me it’s a numbers
    game as you may have guessed by now
    already.. hehe.. moving from 18 years at the
    same job at a Bowling Center.. part of 25.. working
    for the government and eventually moving up a ladder
    to the stress part of that and watching children grow up before
    from baby to having children age then in a cheers like environment
    where a significant portion of the population of the town could recognize
    me as the Bowling Alley guy.. 8 years in college for 4 degrees.. before the
    5th.. actually.. with kindergarten and 12 years before the 1st Associate’s degree..
    Bowling Alley routine.. hey.. yep.. any job will do better than none.. haha.. and
    then a close to 33 month stint without effective use of eyes and ears to
    get mostly shut in like the Hunch Back of Notre Dame with the worst
    pain known to humankind that went 33 months more after i started
    writing one word coming to 12 million online today.. as this is
    the day i celebrate that 6 year routine and numbers too.. and
    yes.. another routine i picked up was responding to every
    single post Prajakta has written in about 2 and
    a half years now.. after meeting her
    writing on dVerse.. as i enjoy
    the fact that she writes
    about something
    and interesting
    every time i come here
    that broadens my understanding
    about how she looks at life as a young
    professional woman working in India..
    where i find from my online adventures
    that these people living there i meet in broad band way..
    are almost always nice without fail.. could have something
    to do with tHeir overall respect for nature.. as the monkey roams
    free.. hehe.. too.. over there.. not so much over here.. and that is
    kinda sad as dominate nature is kinda the rule of routine here..
    ugh.. as the smoke stacks continue to pollute the air.. not
    as much.. at least.. what else.. well that’s probably
    enough as you know
    go on..
    but for now
    Happy days here..
    alWays a pleasure
    to visit my friEnd from
    India.. Prajakta.. and i like
    the way that names sounds
    as it seems so so original.. too..
    and of course PS.. dance walking about
    6500 miles now in 39 months every place
    i go in public where mostly the entire metro
    area has totally forgotten i was the bowling
    alley guy and am now called the dancing guy.. life is good..
    like Forrest Gump says too.. if you saw that movie..
    as the
    life wHeRE the flow goes..
    as just another routine dances and sings..
    as i ready for my 136th dance week tonight
    with all the cool college age folks here
    in the metro are dance hall.. and
    add to my collection of
    over a thousand
    photos of
    dancing with me around
    3 AM iN new age selfie style too..
    as a feather continues to get around..
    in somewhat super epic
    routine.. iN
    Style.. thanks.. for giving.. i needed
    this prompt today.. iT fits wRite iN.. as routines do..;)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I think observing people is a great pastime. Lovely piece to read. 👍
    I often find myself listening to conservations of people near me in a bus or train. Sometimes I figure out whats going on in their lives by listening. I like to listen people’s opinion on any topics and form my opinion about them silently. Sometimes our mind likes us to do innocent wickedness. 😊

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Haha! Cute post. Can a post be cute? Anyway. I feel you. About the routine, changing things up, and wondering how strangers may perceive you. As you perceive them? Indifferent, maybe? Who knows? It’s funny how you pass so many people every day. What things must be going on in their lives? Each has a story to tell. Perplexing and confounding. And yet, we say it’s a small world. Interesting. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is one of the coolest things about being a deep observer! I wouldn’t say I’ve a great observation about everything because mostly the storm in my own head is too loud for me to notice anything else but there are always some people who capture my attention sometimes during daily routines and I can’t help but wonder about their lives, their struggles etc etc. This was such a thought provoking read Prajakta 💟


  5. I like this post because you painted the characters well. I like also that I sensed the fondness you have for these fellow track stars. Tell me, what do they see when they observe you?


  6. You seem to be thoroughly enjoying stalking them ☺️
    I started hitting gym this year…so that makes me sort of your follower now.

    Btw, many people are poor at observing, like me…not sure they even registered your presence.


  7. There are millions of stories unfolding around us all the time. Mostly we miss them lost in our own cares and worries. Sometimes when we are open to looking, like in this case perhaps, we see many other lives and stories, each one unique and interesting. Warm read!


  8. “And I saw the beauty routine brings…”
    From all that I read, I like to take at least one thing with me as I continue on my day..and from you, it is this.
    Thanks for the post.


  9. When I catch myself people watching… Andy Weir’s The Egg is always quick to mind, bringing with it a different sense of empathy.
    …Always makes me look at it all just a bit differently.


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