December 4, 2011


He is utterly shabby. Couple of loose entangled coils in place of hair, projected randomly in all directions. What I was  first mistaken of as boots were actually socks torn up at ankles and  pulled onto the jeans that made them look such. He wore snug fit dark green jumpers. I am of opinion that they were light green, once upon a time. One eyed I guess, as he could barely open the other, wrinkled skin which had been creased darker with dirt. Old fellow, lost sanity...

 He came to our hostel canteen quite frequently. An object of interest for long, I wanted to know about him. At times when I went to collect my tea he would make way for me politely. I was amused by his mannerisms. Discussing about him with my friend I made up my mind that I would learn more about him the next time I come across and also provide some monetary help as well.


He was ordering tea while me and my friends also chatted over cuppa. But sadly I only had fifteen bucks but still, I and a friend rushed after him...caught him at a distance. I panted clutching the money tightly inside my sweatshirt pocket. My friend initiated;

"Hello ! Humein aapse baat karni thhi?"
"Haan boliye?" He replied in a weak voice.
I got numb, had never heard him talk. Couldn't judge if he was normal. I thought he might grow violent anytime.

"Aap kahan rehte hain?" We asked.
"Yahin peeche."
"Peeche kahan."
"SOL (School of open learning) mein." He answered instantly.

I was not sure whether to give him the mean amount or not, I was still clutching it tightly.

"Aap kya karte hain?"  We continued our kya- kyun- kaise  stuff.

"Main registrar huun." He offered us tea which he was holding. We politely declined. I was sure by now that he had lost his sanity. Yo man ! I buy it, you are a registrar. I am queen of Jingalala. 

"Acha, aap kya karte hain wahan?"(See again!) I pestered him, scrutinizing tad too much.

He was a bit irritated by that time I guess, he began;
"Listen ! I am a registrar at SOL. What do you think I must be doing. I work there. The designated work." He spoke this in English with an accent far superior than mine, the money which I had been clutching tightly all this while, dropped inside. It must have taken a humble corner. I did not know what to say now.

 "Oh ! We just wished to speak to you". I flaunted my English this time.
"Alright ! It was nice talking to you people." He departed then.

My friend shouted at me " Saali tu issko pandrah rupaye degi? Wo tujhe abhi sau ka note nikaalke deta! Aur chaar baatein aur sunata!"

I came back, my head sunk low. One of my friend's friend told us on our way back that he lives on streets. Rich once, has given most of his property in charity. These days he writes articles for some magazine or like. And also helps students with assignments who know him around.

What do I say now? World's strange ! 

I would think twice before offering someone money from now on.
And yes, next time If I need some help for assignment,I know where to hit. SOL ! :D


No-mad said...

True story? Wow! Would love to meet the man! Role model!

'with an accent far superior than mine'. When did we become independent - 1947?

And best of it all - YOU ARE BACK!

Balvinder kaur said...

very interesting....tell me more abt him wen u come back...n great writing... :)

Tulika said...

@ SiM:

Yep, true.. No comments about the accent though! :D

@ Virus:

yeah, will tell you about it !

Avi said...

Nice narration ! I could actually imagine it happening !