He is the quintessential security guard you meet at every office these days. You know, the hunkering tall types with bloodshot eyes and hefty build. He wears a uniform with an epaulet and a large badge on the sleeve of his shirt embroidered with "Target Security" or some such name. He wears a broad belt inserted through button down belt holders. The cloth is of cotton of a very tough quality. He is an impressive sight, young, with a glow in his eyes. Though at first sight you would stereo-cast him as the typical north Indian security guy with the basic education and skills of a person from the mofussil, if you come to know him better you will find that his is a dream that has gone sour. What's his dream? To be a singer. He is a budding singer and he is from Orissa.
When I ask him what he sings he says Oriya songs.
"Where did you sing it?"
"I sang it in Orissa for a music video, an Odiya music video."
"Oh, then you must have been paid a lot of money, eh? Music video players are paid well."
"Why? Singers like Sonu, Adnan, what's that short guy's name? I forget. They are well paid no?"
"No sir. I was not paid at all."
"What? You mean you were not paid a single paise for singing and dancing in the music video?"
"Then why did you do it?"
"Because they said the music video will make me famous. They gave me a CD of video and said I can be a singer in Bombay."
"In fact, they took money to put me in their music video. Rs 5000."
"What? So that's why you came here."
"Yes. I came here, I had to make that money I had lost. But in Bombay nobody makes Odiya music videos."
"So that's why you became a security guard and work 12 hours a day?"
"Yes, sir. No other jobs were available."
That's another one of the con jobs being perpetrated in the name of entertainment in our country. I felt pity for him because he keeps pestering me for small loans all the time. I tell him I am in need of loans myself.