This morning I took some time away from work and walked the neighborhood. We are in the area of Chennai known as Nungambakkam. Traditionally it is safe and friendly, and filled with great cafes and restaurants.
This was my second long walk this week. Tuesday I went with friends to the strikingly peaceful and beautiful Sri Ramakrishna Math, an ashram and shrine. We then went to the Theosophical Society which has an immense grounds, including the Huddleston Garden, with its ancient Banyan trees. It is near the ocean, and cool breezes waft through the forest. There are also ancient What a delight
This morning I walked the streets near our guest house. Chennai is changing at an astounding rate, and those changes extend into these old neighborhoods. In the past we have felt to walk the streets at night, and are now told this is ill-advised. Even in daylight many of the younger men seem hostile.
I went in search of the local farm and the goats and other animals that live there. The farm takes up a large lot on the corner of one of the streets. During the day the animals are often free to wander and forage. They ar friendly and curious, and seem to take the crazy traffic that fills even the side streets in stride.
Near the end of my stroll (it is a hot day and I was drenched in sweat) I passed a group of men of around my age. They made gestures suggesting they wanted to be photographed. I complied, then crossed the street to show them the photo. They crowded around me, looked at the photo with approval, then shook my hand. We all laughed.
In spite of their warmth, I found myself feeling anxious. I carry everything I need in a smallish fanny pack, as my hands and arms are engaged with my crutches. When people crowd around me, I become very aware of the fanny pack, and of my wobbliness. But no worries, a fine moment was had by all.