Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Stranger I know

He stands there on the footpath,unkempt,dirty.He looks at me with a disdain,as if it is I who am polluting this planet.He bursts out in a rambling song about the troubles of his life.Many disturbed eyes cast an ugly look on him.He might be a thinker for all you know,a poet maybe.The fruit vendor down the line does not think so.He shouts at him for scaring away customers.His gait steady,head held high he walks away.You ought not to think that he is scared of a fight,he just does not stoop so low as to.He catches me staring at him and smiles.A smile of knowing,that of one who is wise.He does not ask for money,but never says no to it.The crowd of humans going to catch their regular train do ot pay much attention to him,he does not care.He sits down there.Unbeknownst to him,a white pooch is nibbling away at his food.He lovingly feeds it.Probably out of brotherly love,or maybe out of sorrow that it is among the last living being to love him.

I see him there very regularly.He never is missed,but he never is missing.Some people ignore him,while some others hate him.Like the constable,who never misses a chance of hitting him with his baton.Hitting a 'human pillowcase',does not hurt anyone.Anyways,who's gonna complain.His frustration vented,he leaves the 'filth' in a heap;crying.For you,this is insensitive.For him,this is life.

His pain subsided,he gets up.Hunger is a more powerful motivator than fear.He asks the shopkeeper for food,only to be rebuked heavily.He laughs the pain away.He satsfies his rumbling stomach,by drinking water from the tap.The tap is as full of water as his mouth is.He curses and goes away.I watch him for a while,till my bus arrives.As I board the bus,my eyes search the road for the familiar stranger.He is still there.Standing on the footpath.Unkempt,dirty.

1 comment:

Roshan said...

looks like a hindi feature film script. Anyways, good post :)