Illustrated by Sreeja Basu
World Sauntering Day is a reminder to slow down from our hectic lives and enjoy the world and ourselves at a leisurely pace. Perhaps the pandemic too has made us question our priorities, our busy-ness, our definitions of pleasure.
But our cultures have always celebrated these daily pleasures – and we know that from our languages. So here is our ode to sairmatakka, tafri, loafing, sauntering, timepass: a map of words for ghoomna and phirna and style maarna in India. Is sauntering a queer kind of word? We think so – it’s an activity that refuses to be categorised. It has no real destination – neither achievement, nor protest, nor demonstration of any fixed meaning. It is pleasure for the sake of it, being stylish on the street, just – being. In the world, with friends, with beloveds, with yourself, with moongphali, with a breeze, with flowers, with a cane, with an air of ease. So, take five, take them alone or with someone else – go for a socially distanced saunter. Zara sa ghoom lo, zara sa jhoom lo, arre haan re baba haan! And tell leave comments with other words you use for the mazedar business of sauntering!