Thursday, 17 January 2013

Friends and the Writer

Whenever I feel lonely I would go to a park or a tea stall to make new friends and start a conversation. These friends are never high profile people but old aged people scolded by their sons, cleaners who came daily to clean government offices knowing the officer will not come today. The kids collecting the polythene bags, working at tea stalls and sometimes begging. The maid who wishes her son to be an educated man. She works hard to send her son to two tuitions so he could pass the matric exam. The sweeper who is having fever but still working in the sun or he will not be paid. The old woman who comes along with her granddaughter so she could get rest from the household work. The retired colonel with three sons working in abroad. He is quite lonely but never leaves the smile from his face. The guy who makes tea and thinks I am a reporter for he saw me writing things often. The bhelpuri wala who learnt making bhelpuri in Maharashtra but is resident of a small village at border of U.P. and Bihar. He does well in noida and says soon he will open a burger stall along with it. They are my friends. They expect nothing but my time to talk if they ever meet me, again.

The colonel impresses me a lot with his experiences. The story of wars, comrades and lifestyle is all what makes your life perfect. I was a bit depressed, he was never posted to Kashmir or any ice caps. He knows about my engineering, frowns though on my idea as a writer. He keeps on saying big things about working abroad. There is money, social status, and fame. Though he never told me where his sons worked. He never told me anything about them. I came to know about them from the sweeper of the park.

Ramdas is the owner of the tea shop. In his late fourties and works much more than the teenagers. Wearing a lungi and a vest, he is always shouting. Not in the voice to fury you but not pleasant also. He doesn’t like me. He has some grudge against reporters and thinks me to be one. I don’t complain, neither I tried to remove his doubts. His tea is famous around that corner. You could see peoples with multinational companies ID hung around their neck drinking tea there. Hardly any one of them has tried the coconut cookie there or they would have noted down the address of the bakery and bought packets. He never complains for me sitting there even though I have finished my tea long enough. I was his regular customer after all. But chhotu often got scolded because of chatting to me.

Chhotu is the boy who worked at the stall. He is 10 years old. His family is 1000 km far away but he was sent to get work and money. His real name is Rajendra. He neither knows its meaning nor does that he shares his name with our first president. He studied till 2nd grade and was happy to be removed from school. He doesn’t want to study but wish to buy a cell just like mine so that he can also play games in it all day. Even munna is also of same age. He would always run to me if he caught my view. He lives in the slum behind and begs with other slum children in near localities. He knows that I will not give him money but chocolates instead. He never demanded his favourite one till now. He wishes to study but her mother hasn’t got money to send her to. He would always make toys out of scraps. Sometimes they would just wonder me and I would make a little upgraded version of it with useful stuffs and show off in my friends. He only wishes her mother to get cured of the disease she is suffering from.

The old lady at the park is very sweet. Mainly because she makes good sweets and often brings them for me. Her granddaughter’s name is Richa. She is a cute angel with chubby cheeks. The lady laughs that I know cooking. She teases me that after marriage I will have to cook for my wife. She says she is old, she needs to have a little more rest but richa is growing and her working mom isn’t there to take care of her. Her son loves her a lot. She wishes to go to Vaishno Devi trip but her son didn’t take her along because someone had to stay back and take care of the house.

They all love me and share their time and secrets with me. They expect me to be there at our meeting spot the next day too. They never complain if I fail. I wish that they knew the reality. The reality in which I was a very selfish guy. I would show them dreams and give hopes but may not be there to help them out. All they were to me was subjects to write upon.


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