People Watching: An Evening Activity.


As I entered the castle mall, I found a quiet corner near the railing where I could see both floors to view the place better through a spectator’s eye. I had to wait for my other half, so I decided to do some people watching. The skill I learned in my writing course and something I continue to develop day by day.

It was after a while, I came to a public space. I was nervous, but I had my mask on and fully vaccinated. But, that was all a belief, I thought; after getting another positive test with all those precautions a couple of months back, I sighed to myself, “well, there isn’t an end to this, is it?” I needed a desperate change of scene in my life like everybody else.

It was evening, time to finish work for many; shops were closing. I didn’t feel impatient at all. In my place, I stood leaning to the railing, watching people, but not watching as such, just eyeballing around, absorbing the movements and happenings, embracing the life that surrounds me.

The sight was not much different to other places; nearly empty escalators, a few people scattered here and there, covered faces with masks of different make and designs. A lady on the phone on the other side of the railing seemed to have a tough conversation; at times, I saw her stare to my side through the corner of my eye.

There were some teens there by the escalator—two on the top floor and one at the bottom. It looked like the girl was scared to use the escalator, and the guys from the bottom floor encouraged her to go down to them; when she stepped in, the guys took the escalator upwards. She wasn’t impressed. “Crazy guys, isn’t it?”. It reminded me of my school years. She showed a finger to them, as a rude gesture. But honestly, I thought that was funny. 🤭

There were a few groups of youngsters here and there chattering away happily. “Yes, I said happily, but how did I get that?” 🤔 Of course, their sounds and gestures gave a pleasant vibe. These days we are just a bunch of faceless people. I hoped that one day we would be able to smile at people without a cover-up and spread joy to one another instead of viruses.

A lady with a high visibility coat stood at the foot of the stairs leading to the food court. The area was temporarily closed since the pandemic. It looked like it was a vaccination centre. Time and again, I saw her looking my way, probably wondering about the idle soul that is simply “wasting” time. 😉Little did she know that she was also a part of my story today.

Meanwhile, I was interrupted by a phone call, and my husband’s photo appeared on the screen. I knew he was there, soon reality hit me, and I slowly came out of my writer mode. My people-watching session ended there, and I walked out to the entrance only to find him waiting for me. Holding each other’s hands, we walked through the bare lanes of the very familiar city once again for a little while before heading home.

Much Love,

~Chinchu Gibu

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