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The one is an old man and the other is a man in his thirties, stopping here while his dog chased a ball in the park nearby. At first, they were two strangers being gracious to each other by exchanging pleasantries. The old man, Mr Browne, comes here to smoke and ruminate about all the fun times he had had with his wife and children. He had been a major in the army and Mrs Browne and the children used to go with him to all the places he was posted. They had travelled together and had great times.
 Yes, there had been hard times as well when she had to nurse the children herself when they caught typhoid, without much medicine, while they were in South Africa. And there had been the time when he had been captured by the Bedouins while they were in the Arabian Peninsula. She had gone herself to all the authorities and argued and pleaded with them until they had ransomed him back. She had been a strong woman, his wife, full of an odd kind of strength which helped her handle life better. She had died a couple of years back, taking with her his reason to live. The kids had all settled down after their nomadic childhood and were employed in good establishments. Once in a month, they all paid him a visit, coming with their spouses and children.
 This young man was a story all together. He made an excuse of taking his dog for a walk and met Mr Browne here everyday. He says he wants to get away from his shrewish wifw and her complaints. Each day there was a different problem. And Mr Browne would laugh at the story and advice the young man about what to do. Hearing the young man, he would think again of what a good relationship he had had with his wife.
 Of course, the young man’s problems only required careful handling. He was lucky he had a good job and if he spent just the right amount of time with his wife and children, they would know and understand him better. But he was a bit of a gambler and spent the money and time he had to spend on his family, on the dice. A pity really. But now that Mr Browne had been advising him, the young man has come to mend his ways. Mr Browne had told him the difficulties and pressures of being in the army. He had to make the young man understand how lucky he was with all that God had given him.
April 2012

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