Story of an Indian Vagrant
An account based on a true, but distant observation.
This happened a few weeks back.
It was a normal, ridiculously warm, Saturday afternoon.
My mom and I were sitting in the living room. More like lazing around. All of a sudden, through the corner of my eye, I saw this man walking on our building’s boundary wall. The wall is almost 10 feet high. And this man was walking sideways along the entire breadth. The entire time he was dangerously close to the edge and hence extremely likely of falling. Our security guy kept trying to ask him to come down but I am not sure if he understood.
As soon as he came close to the gate of our building, he perched on the edge of the wall, completely unsure of what to do next. And then, just like that, he jumped towards the ground. It took him a few minutes to recover from the shock of the jump. But soon he was back on his feet. Its then when we actually saw that he had a serious hand and leg disability. I am not sure how he managed to climb the wall in the first place because he barely looked able to walk.
He looked haggard, confused and in a lot of pain. He was thirsty; after all it was one of the hottest summers in this city. Our security guy offered him a bottle of water. He finished the entire thing in one breath. He still wouldn’t talk. The security guy kept asking him where he had come from and where he wanted to go. But no words came from him. He limped around for a while near are building and then abruptly went across the street to somebody else’s apartment. They have a swing and sofa on the lower level of their building. He sat their for a while. First on the swing and then on the sofa.
And then, just as suddenly he had appeared, he disappeared. We didn’t see him go. He just vanished.
Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? About “lives of others”. Here was a guy. We didn’t know where he came from. We don’t know where he went. He just came, like a lost soul, completely bewildered about his surroundings. Not even aware of the dangerous “walk” he took. He looked scared but still completely unaware of his predicament.