How a story unfolds in a park in Mumbai

In one of his assignments, Dr Rohit Shah spends around 10-15 minutes at a neighbourhood park in his city to jot down what he observed. This is an assignment from The Lifestyle Portal’s Writing Program where we teach you how to hone your observation skills that can come handy for plot building of a story. Dr Rohit’s fine observation skills will transport you to the park where he shares how the evening went. Read on…

Text by: Dr Rohit Shah

As the sun is setting, welcoming a winter evening, I enter the famous VN Desai park of Santacruz east. There’s a cold chill in the air and a light breeze shaking the parrot green leaves of the trees surrounding me. Suddenly a sense of warmth accompanied by a burning smell grips the air, as a pile of dry leaves are lit in one corner.

I enter the walkway and find energetic walkers performing their activity with enthusiasm. I see slow movers on the left side of the tracks being overtaken by brisk joggers from their right. Occasionally a runner or two is finding his way in a zig-zag motion through this pattern. The activity is disturbed by an infant trying to wheel his tricycle probably for the first time. I also find a toddler taking baby steps, falling, however continuing trying to learn the way to balance and walk.

Most of the walkers are plugged onto their earphones and others observing their gizmos which are tracking the steps they take and getting happy seeing the calories they burn in the process.

As I move on, I find a group of senior citizens in an animated discussion over certain national and political issues. Some of them are talking loudly and some others are gesturing them to calm down and continue.

A couple dressed in white seated on yoga mats are meditating completely unaware of their surroundings. Their eyes are closed and have a calm and peaceful look on their faces.

Some shouting at a distance catches my attention. I find that some children are being trained in martial arts at a secluded spot of the park. I stop by to watch some short contests between them. 

Another group of children are wearing professional similar sports t-shirts and deeply engaged in Kabaddi.

Some other areas where the light is visibly poorer are filled with couples seated closely on benches looking for some privacy and personal space.  

A group of ladies walk in gossiping about issues close to their heart. They seem to now be chatting and discussing the latest happenings of popular TV serials.

I finally enter the last and most active area of the park being the children’s play zone. A boy dressed in a maroon t-shirt is hanging like a monkey trying to overreach out to the next bar as he goes from one end to the other.

Another one is trying to perform some acrobatics jumping and circling skillfully and uniquely as he tries to impress his friends. A couple of toddlers are climbing the steps and now screaming excitedly as they slide down. 

Other children are swinging rapidly and dangerously fast and enjoying themselves thoroughly.

A boy falls off a swing after losing his balance when a stray dog runs past him. He hurts his head. He appears dazed and starts crying loudly. His parents rush to him with a hand towel to nurse his wound. 

As the child gets up and says he’s fine, I exit the park.

Dr Rohit Shah, BDS MDS PGDMLS is a senior Periodontist and Implantologist based out of Mumbai. He is also a Teacher, Consultant, Clinician and a Surgeon by profession, specializing in Periodontal surgeries, Dental Implants and a foodie by passion. He is a part of the Editorial Board in a few national dental journals and has numerous publications to his credit. Currently, he is working as an Associate Professor in Periodontology at Terna Dental College, Navi Mumbai. He is one of our esteemed students at The Lifestyle Portal Online Writing Program.

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Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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