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April 20, 2010 / Shalini Ambastha

The Realisation

I saw a naked man. No, it was not a little child running around naked refusing to take a bath despite the mother’s cajoling and threats. It was a middle aged man, perhaps in his forties, taking bath at a roadside hand pump.

He caught my attention as I was waiting in a queue at a railway station for a tatkal reservation one morning. Bizarrely enough, the sight of him there in that state did not shock or repulse me. Instead I was intrigued and continued looking in his direction. Here was a man doing what he had to do and I cannot say that he was completely oblivious of his surroundings. He was fully aware that there could be a hundred eyes watching him at that time and yet that was not his immediate concern at that moment.

He quietly washed his clothes and finished with his bath. Thereafter, he squeezed the water out the clothes he had just washed and put them on one by one, slowly and with a lot of patience. Obviously, he had just one set of clothes. However, I was not moved to pity with this realisation because my mind was already busy, recalling how irritated I get in wet clothes on being caught in an accidental downpour.

Done with his bathing and cleaning business, the man was now ready to go. I realised that he was partially blind as he sought the help of a young man to cross the road. As the boy helped him cross the road and they walked past me to reach the platform, they had managed to strike a conversation and I could see that he was talking jovially and joking around with the boy. And here I was, cribbing that I had forgotten my MP3 player and still had one more hour to wait.

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9 Comments

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  1. harsimrankapoor / Apr 20 2010 5:09 pm

    The littlest incidents in our lives! 🙂

  2. Kavita A / Apr 20 2010 6:11 pm

    so you found ..its you who was in the greener pastures 🙂
    nice realisation..n gud choice of words.. my literature baby!!
    kudos!!

  3. Ajay / Apr 20 2010 6:28 pm

    You have become a pro Shalini.
    Very well written ….. Its very interesting to read ..like a short story.
    And the last line is too good.
    Really liked the post… wud like to read more posts from you. 🙂

  4. Priya / Apr 21 2010 9:44 am

    he he eh..cribbing??watch me! 😉
    ur getting better at this my literary genius!

  5. pensiveharsh / Apr 21 2010 5:45 pm

    Aww… aren’t you sweet?

  6. pensiveharsh / Apr 23 2010 5:54 am

    I was intrigued and continued looking in his direction —- what a peeve? Booo NEHA!

  7. Purba / Apr 27 2010 11:58 am

    But I recommend cribbing to everyone, it’s no fun simmering alone 🙂

    Very nicely put…loved the construct.

  8. Shalini Ambastha / Apr 27 2010 2:33 pm

    haha….Cribbing is something I do on a regular basis these days 😉 but glad you liked it….Thanks 🙂

  9. Bharat / May 21 2010 3:38 am

    Hi Shalini, I actually stumbled upon your blog and read last to first. There is a clear difference between your first and latest post and you seem to have become a pro at it. Lot of us come across these sights on a daily basis but how many of us actually give it a thought leave alone write about it. I once saw a poorly dressed woman and her baby sleeping under a dilapidated truck that had been left to rot in the middle of summer in Bangalore. Missed my camera badly that day, however i till date can visualise that scene and only chide my self for cribbing about little things in life. Guess thats the chemical locha in some of our minds, an insatiable desire to have anything and everything.

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