Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Old man, rest in peace!

Another death. A neighbour. I had written about the deaths that were occurring one after the other. Then, yesterday when I was going for my morning spell of badminton, I noticed a few people standing outside the door of a house similar to mine. There was something odd about the way they stood. A silence, as if for someone who died.

Yes. The silence spoke of death as silence does. Mostly. One of my neighbour, it was, that death beckoned. I don't know his name. He may have been around his sixties. I never spoke a few words with him. We used to see each other when we were out walking and I would think of something cheerful to say (in Marathi) and when he came near he would turn his face away.I wondered at this strange behaviour and was a bit offended. Was he a religious bigot. A Matha-brandan (religious-maddened person), as we say in Kerala? I decided not to speak to him at all. (The Englishmen I worked with in Saudi Arabia used to do that, especially Peter W. He was my boss. When I would come face-to-face with me around the office and around the project on which we were working, he would turn his face away. I would think of saying "Good morning" and I would see the head turning, turning in the opposite direction. Something personal? Is it my body language? Is it something else? Some hygiene issues [You know the English know about our back-washing habit forming part of our morning ablution. They are the wiping sort. We both detest the other due to this cultural difference. But that can cancel out each other, can't it?] Be so kind as to elaborate.)

Now I think it was some personal disappointment that would make them do that. They were in some deep mediatative state about some problem. Some block in their minds that wouldn't go away, something not superficial but touching a deep chord. Peter W. became very sick after those episodes (with malaria) and became a white wraith of a man.The above neighbour also had his reasons, I discovered through wifey, which follows:

He had two daughters. Both were married. The elder one's husband abandoned her. The reason was, you won't believe this: he wanted a daughter son (I confuse genders) and the woman gave him a daughter. He abandoned her and married another woman. Aside: I think my father should have committed suicide when he had three daughters in a row, before this blogger was born. End Aside. The daughter came back to live with the old man bringing along with her her daughter, a beautiful little girl. The man was broken in mind and body. His walks were intended to get peace, but peace never came. His looks were full of a secret despair which he never told anyone. He never could. He passed off in his sleep.

Old man, rest in peace! Sorry I couldn't speak to you and understand your problem. I must go sleep some to wake up to another futile day.

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