I ran into my neighbour at the hairdresser's salon last evening. I use "ran in" carefully here because he was running blind with some ghoulish white substance on his face and wafers of cucumber glued to his eyes. He is a heavy man and I am not so it was pretty easy for him to run into me. My ribs hurt.
He didn't recognise my ribs of course and it didn't help that he couldn't see through cucumber. So, I apologised and I noticed that he had some colour in his hair or what was left of it. To be technically correct, he had colour in his scalp and on some wisps that were stubbornly clinging to it.
When the cucumber was peeled off and he saw light, he also saw me. I tried not to grin or show disrespect to his beautification procedure. But it was too late, he caught my smirk the moment it left my face. "Missus is getting facial done and I had to kill some time," he mumbled through his warpaint. I couldn't nod in appreciation as the scissors were snipping dangerously around my only ears.
He must have thought me rude but rather heartless than earless methinks. When the hairdresser's assistant settled at his feet with a pedicure kit, I swear I heard him curse me.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Rummaging through an old box, I found a weathered yellow teen rag called Sun. I dusted it and shook it and pat fell out a poster of an artiste named Prince. He was still a man and not a symbol back then. Sun oh Sun, was my escape to the wonderful world outside before they started beaming Top of the Pops into living rooms and selling Nikes in malls. Boy, how were shortchanged back then. In a mutliplex-less, VH1-less, Maruti-800ed India, one of life's biggest moments was waiting for Sun on a Sunday.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Eyes closed to the world, lips pursed in defiance, he whistles in the wind. The mongrels laze in rapt attention. Even the flies that buzz around his rags seem to be in a trance. He is sprawled on the pavement, head resting on his worldly possession, hands and feet scabbed by life. But he whistles a happy tune. I can hear it clean and shrill over the cacaphony of the urban night. There is music in the man.