My walks in the Tobacco Company garden........5

I miss my walks in the garden when I travel. On my return I feel happy to see the jogging couple, an Asian and a Farang woman with their dogs still around. Strange as we have never spoken to each other so far. When they jog the dogs run along with them and keep barking and chasing other stray mutts in the park. I am impressed when the dogs obey their masters’ command and get back. After the jog the couples spread their mats and do yoga! I notice she is better at Yoga than the man! The scene is very dramatic and is worth a picture as they go leg up under the shade of the peepul tree near the Buddha idol and the dogs sit around them patiently!

I am also happy to see the Thai- Chinese also practicing Tai-Chi, moving gracefully to music. He is very good and especially impressive when he has a sword in his hand. He moves with a lot of grace and power. Sometimes I see him teaching a few old Chinese women Tai-Chi. They are sincere and intense; watching these timorous old ladies weaving their swords ever so gently is a fascinating sight.

As days go by a story develops involving the jogging couple. She is tall and athletic; he is smaller built and has a haircut like a Buddhist novice! In the beginning they were with three dogs, one a small old lapdog and two young 'Pedigree' dogs. A few weeks later I saw that they had added two more black puppies to the family. It was all very sweet for a while; the puppies were small, cute and manageable! As the puppies grew up you could see tension all round, on the leash when they were attached to it and on the face of the novice when they were freed! The black ones were aggressive and not very disciplined as they went chasing after the other mutts in the park all the time. It was the man that went after them! As the days went by, he appeared stressed all the time. In fact, he once threw his shoe at the dogs and glared at his jogging companion and shouted 'I told you....’. I guess he was against adding more dogs to the family and was upset as he was unable to jog, being busy chasing after the dogs! She was not much help though, except to shout at the dogs; 'Heidi- you bad girl'!

I guessed the woman was British! The confirmation came in a typical way. One day the black dogs started barking at me as probably I walked too close to them! She spoke half apologetically and more in rebuke for being careless and walking too close to them. The tone said that I should have known better; ‘It is their nature you know’. I just nodded, slightly taken aback and continued with my walk, and she with her jog. I could be as British as any. The man was in the meanwhile trying his utmost to keep the dogs together and from fighting the mutts!
I did not see them for a while and then about two weeks ago I saw her again, alone with her dogs! I wondered how she would manage five dogs and her yoga without the missing guy! Obviously she could not and gave up her yoga!

The other day I saw her arguing with the security personnel and it looked serious! I guess it was about a recent 'free for all' amongst all the dogs that frequent the park. It seems the security insisted on her keeping her dogs on leash and she started doing so with the more aggressive ones in her pack!

Last week as I entered the park I saw her kneeling near a supine black dog, and there were a few Thais and a Farang surrounding her. She appeared as if she was thinking aloud rather than making a request when she said ‘who will hold him while I drive!’ Anyway one of them offered help and she drove away with all the canines.

The next day she was there again in the park minus the black dog! I saw her speaking to a girl who frequents the park with a much disciplined dog. As they parted I heard her say ‘she has to play’ and started playing with the other black dog, running after it, trying to have a mock battle, generally fussing over it. It was rather sad and also impressive to see her trying her utmost to keep a stiff upper lip (metaphorically!) and keeping up with her routines. I hoped that the dog would recover soon and the missing companion would reappear as well! I know I could ask her, but being British (at least some of us still retain the traces of the British Raj), we rather wait till we are introduced!

It would have been very ‘filmi’ to end the scene here with the garden becoming smaller and smaller and fading away into a dot. But I am happy to report that the Asian reappeared, either they made up or he was away travelling and the black dog also had a companion.


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