“I spend 45 minutes to an hour in a park at least 5 days a week,” my young neighbour said proudly. He spends these valuable minutes on jogging and little exercise. Great, I said and added that my morning schedule also includes brisk walk and some exercise at least five days a week. You will say that both of us are health conscious. Just wait. Let me give you some more information. The distance between our residence and the park is around one kilometer. While I prefer to walk to the park, my neighbour takes his car every morning.

Welcome to the club of morning ‘car’ walkers! These people have fancy sports shoes, costly sports attire and also wear really good deodorant and perfumes. Most of them take one or two rounds (each round is approximately 400 meters) in my neighbourhood park. They walk leisurely and then sit in a group, enjoy the morning freshness with a good dose of gossip.

The best part is their stretching exercise. The park has some iron benches which are little higher than the usual ones. People sit on them and their exercise begins by swinging their legs. In the same posture, they stretch their hands little bit and some head movements from right to left and left to right and the exercise is over. Great, still some 20-30 minutes are left. But that can be easily exhausted by exchange of ideas on various topics.

There is also another interesting trend. There is an old gentleman. He comes to the park with lot of ‘datoon’ (Twigs of the neem or margossa tree which are used as indigenous tooth brushes). He distributes them. People chew it till the last bit of the twig is left. After a little chewing, they spit. Behind the bench, behind the trees, in the bushes and even on the footpath. Health care for oneself, forget about others. People using datoon say chewing the twigs releases chemicals which has the power to kill bacteria and greatly reduces the build-up of plaque on the teeth. Very good! But, what about the spitting part? ‘ Tere par to to nahi padi na, thandi hawa kha ’ (Did not drop on you, enjoy the cold air), a 50-plus gentleman, with few inches of datoon still in the mouth, told me when I objected to his spitting.

There is also a juice wala who comes to the park every morning. He comes in a van equipped with a juicer, a battery, some small pots with saplings and a banner. The banner reads, “Sip the juice extracted from wheat grass and some other herbal plants.” The banner also says that this juice has lot of medicinal quality. First few days, it attracted very few people, but now more people are coming. Mind it, this is not free.

Walk, exercise, cleaning the tooth and sipping a glass of juice, everything is done. Now it is time to buy vegetables. Walkers jump into the car, start air conditioner, and move to the makeshift vegetable market on both sides of the street. Some of these walkers prefer to sit in the car, stop near the sabjiwala and bargain for a kg of potato, onion, green vegetable or fruits. AC is on, window glass is half down, more cars behind, a pedestrian like me has to bear all the emission, but walkers sitting in the car just need two minutes (as they say) to finish the vegetable and fruits purchase.

I am not saying that every one coming to park does the same thing, but many do. This happens every morning at least 5 times a week. If you don’t believe, then come to Sindhi park in Old Rajinder Nagar in Central Delhi. Trust me, various other parks may also have somewhat similar scenes every morning. I do not know whether to stop going to park or start taking my car along, and do everything that they do, so that I can also join the elite club of car walkers.