Odd’s On A Sunday Morning…A Vignette

Part 2: When ears don’t hear…

As I turned at the station to the right on the Mankhurd road, I found myself trailing a few steps behind a lady, perhaps on the wrong side of fifty, encased in a saree worn in the traditional Maharashtrian style. The saree did not appear equal to keeping the cold out from the way she tucked her hands in the folds and huddled inside the yards of it draped around her. A scarf wrapped over head and ears was the only woollen she wore. And quite incongruously her silver-grey hair was cut short. She was walking on the road quite briskly for her age keeping a steady gap of a few feet between us. Never did she look back even once, piqued by the footfalls behind her.

In a little while I was startled by the sudden eruption that shattered the calm – a loud and deep shout in what sounded like Marathi. It was as if the lady ahead of me was calling out to someone at a distance in her front. As far as I could see the road ahead was barren barring a milkman here or a newspaper delivery boy there making morning rounds on cycle. Prudently I dropped several steps behind. Before I reached the saloon, there were a couple of more hoots of same kind. To give credit where it was due, there was no ensuing violence. The damage done was limited to the few stray dogs curled up in the comfort of the piled debris beside the dug-up roads stirring weakly before relapsing into their blissful sleep.

I would have been mighty surprised if there was any violence – it was not the form among the city’s denizens. For many years, when my wife and I went out in the evenings, we played this little game: counting the number of Mumbaikars that cross our path and who audibly talk – some even have arguments – with themselves. You’ll be surprised to know they were and are quite a many. Well, if no one has the time and the patience to listen, you’ve no recourse but to be your own listener. Are you then blame-worthy?

Of course we discontinued our game when the hands-free cell-phones arrived on the scene vitiating our count.

(To be contd.)

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One Response to Odd’s On A Sunday Morning…A Vignette

  1. trisha says:

    do they really talk to themselves? well, these days its really very confusing sometimes whether the person next to you is talking to you, himself or in his cellphone.

    Like

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