Saturday, April 14, 2007

People I don't know

Uday is the guy behind the food counter of the small restaurant where I'm gobbling up a Masala dosa. It's late evening and not the time to eat anything serious, if you want to have a good dinner. But I'm unusually hungry today. The dosa is delicious.

'I'm getting married this month', Uday says. He's gushing. 'The girl is from my native. From my community. Marriage's on this month end, on 28th. I'll get you a card if you come here tomorrow by this time'.

I congratulate him. He's an acquaintance from 5 years, and we used to play cricket on some sundays. He's kept aside half a cup of coffee for me--of course, for free. I deny it but he insists. We chat for a while. I wish him again before leaving.

Mom's explaining about the different savings and fixed deposits available at the local bank. The power's gone and the semi-dark atmosphere is endearing. Mom had an accident two months back. Her elbow cracked a bit and the doctors had to perform a minor surgery before setting it right. She's recovered now but has difficulty in freely using her injured arm.

'How's it now?'

' Fine, although I feel a bit of discomfort occasionally. By the way, when are you leaving for Jammu?'

' First week of May.'

We discuss about investments and other money matters. A few of my friends have enrolled their kids to nursery and pre-nursery schools, and all talk I hear nowadays is about the exhorbitant donations and hefty fees these schools demand.

'Save money, if not for anything, atleast for your son's schooling.'


'Do you talk to Archana daily?'

'Yes, mom.'

'How's your son? Does he smile a lot? Does he laugh?'

'Mmm. She says he's quite active....'

India's early exit from the worldcup has meant that Mom gets to sleep soon--or else, she'd stay awake late into midnight until the last ball is bowled, even if it's a losing match for india. Frequent powercuts means she can't watch her favourite soaps on tv.

"Are you planning to shift?' she sounds apprehensive. 'I hear, that friend of yours has rented a house near your spiritual center. Do you have similar plans."

'No. We have no such plans. I'm fine here.'

'Don't shift,' She says. 'Such a big house, this one. Why do you want to go anywhere else?'

I'm speaking to that friend. He's a regular reader of my blog, and sometimes I've to tell him that a particular post was Not written about him.

'Did you read Coelho's 'Like a flowing river'?'

No, I haven't.

'It's similar to your blog. He's written the events of his day to day life and made a book. When I read it, I feel you too can make a book out of your blog.'


'I read your post 'Old boy'. It's good.'


'Any contacts with old boy?'

'No. No news about him'.

'Are you people treating me the way you treat oldboy? I mean... I don't see the same behaviour in others nowadays. They behave as if I've done a terrible mistake.'

I explain. " You are not like oldboy. His case is different. As far as you're concerned, maybe it's your feeling that people ignore you or disrespect you. I don't think anyone has the time or inclination to deliberately disrespect others. We all are busy with our own lives, our own problems and situations....."

'Still, I see others ignoring me. I would like to know my mistakes so that I can correct myself.'

I know my mistakes and shortcomings. Maybe I don't need others to tell me where I've gone wrong or what mistake I've been committing.

The sky's getting overcast. We may have good rains tonight--the first rains of this summer.

"'Go home soon, before the rain catches you," I say as he starts his bike.

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  1. Vishwa, I appreciate your snapshots of people I don't know. I've been isolated in my exile here for so long I truly miss meeting people.

  2. Nick...I pray that your exile is a short one, and that you get to meet people and get back to your everyday life.

  3. Its a gift isnt it, to be able to be with people. Everyone has a story to tell, sometimes a surprising one.

    Ive just written a post about the thinking blogger award, and was going to choose your blog as one of my five. But my friend Chris needs support for his blog, so I chose him instead. Read his blog (links on my post) and you will see why. As I said, everyone has a story.

    I just wanted to thank you for always making me think - even though you didnt get a mention!

  4. Val... I read through all the blogs you've nominated. They're awesome--especially the one by chris. It's really touching--the way he narrates the events, with a deep acceptance of the inevitable. Thank you for those links--they're on my must read list now.

    Yes, everyone has a story. Or a multitude of stories. It's always fascinating to locate them around us and also appreciate them.

    And yeah, I'm flattered beyond words. Thanks for your appreciation :-)