Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Naked Man Supine on Platform No. 2

It's morning rush hour. First thing that happens when I get down is that my eyes seek out the man lying supine on the platform. He is old and has a beard and his body is thin and lean, emaciated. Apart from that he has nothing on him. Not a piece of cloth. His nakedness is stark. It's shocking. People inside the train, standing at the door, thousands of them stare and turn their faces away. Nobody makes a move. There are women on the platform who seem embarrassed. Some look out of curiosity. A naked man is not a pretty sight. Can anything be done?

I call a railway helpline I know. A woman police constable answers it. I state the situation. Naked man: platform no. 2: Chunabhatti station. Since it is a woman I am talking to she is compassionate. A male constable in her place would have been apathetic. "Do something please." She says she will do something.

A man comes with a water bottle. Has he been sent by the station authorities alerted by the woman constable? I don't know. He sprinkles water on the sleeping naked man and says:

"Ch*du, la*dey, chal bhag yahan se. Hat! Hat!"

I don't know what to make of this episode.

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