nce upon a time there was a curious boy, that boy was me. I have many friends to let you know. Though I never found out a what a friend actually was ever. But there are ‘friends’. Friends of many shapes, interests , non-interests, opinions, prejudices and sun signs. So one fine day I went to one of friends house. I rang the door bell once. The bell sounded “ Trrrrnggggg” and faded off. I waited. It wasn’t raining outside. No one came. It was afternoon. People usually sleep at this time. I don’t sleep so I don’t care. When I visit people when I am not sleeping I must be welcomed. I rang the door bell again. “Trrrrnggggg” again it sounded. Some one approached the door and in between yelling and scolding asked “Who is it ?”. In these situations never say your name. The person on the other side of the doesn’t know you. And if he/she even does he/she must here a she must ask politely. I didn’t say my name. I said my friends name. She opened the door. Before I could see her face she went inside shutting the curtains behind her tightly leaving me in their front room, most families call it the living room. In living rooms like this, they have sitting chairs, couches, sofas with display stuff like teddies, trophies , pictures etc etc. It is the main office of the house. They had couches a little low in height to the height of couches I am comfortable sitting at. No, I am not a very choosy couch person, I need more leg space my legs like to breathe. There were couches and there were no people and no space to sit.
I adjusted some of the things on the nearest couch to the door on the next couch and sat there waiting. The fan was running well. The living room seemed like no one was living there for a while now. I had to wait now. I clearly couldn’t go across the closed curtain wall. Not because I couldn’t go, because there are some things that come under good behavior that good social people do and as I was in somebody else’s territory I had to behave the good behavior. Waiting is one of the things that I am sure very less people are fond of. I was also one of those people, if you come in the other category please stop reading this and ping me I will wire you $1000 and never tell you when. So, I started humming a song. Behind the curtain came a objecting cough.I stopped immediately. Good behavior. I again in a voice between requesting and demanding asked for my friend saying his name again.
“He is sleeping” said his mother. I deduced that she was his mother in my living time in the living room. I replied “Okay, I will come later then ?”. No one spoke. I wished I could see through curtains or the curtain gave some gap to just look what was beyond. Did they butcher innocent people who came to wrong address and was sleeping a synonym to dead. Curtains stood as they stood and did their duty. All I was was stuck between the curtain and the living room. I couldn’t hum. I thought of leaving. I got up and heard a big thud sound. It was like a cupboard had fallen or a stack of meat had fallen on a table. Now I wanted to see what lied beyond the curtain I wanted to see the secret butcher society. I heard a voice asking “ Who is it ?” , it was my friend. Here is the time just the time to say your name loudly and clearly.
“ Neeraj Murthy” I said. He came out. I gave him the package I had to give and said “Happy Birthday”. He gave me a nice big hug. I asked him then “ Let’s go to your bedroom and talk”. He said “ No bro. Not allowed to take guests in.” . “No one ever visits your house right ?” I asked . “You are one person who has come after 8 months” he said. I knew why.
I understood something that day. I understood about people and their homes. You can walk to any home and tell about the people who live there. My friend and his family have a very private personality like guests in the house he also has very few friends. Later as I was leaving I even found out the reason why he was sleeping on his birthday, he felt alone. His hug said a hundred words. He believes in being tough. I have a lot of friends. I felt really poor that day because I couldn’t be him for one day and he couldn’t be me. We all have our own roles to play. Then I never visited his house and I still don’t know what’s beyond the curtain. He knows. I am not him. Its better that I don’t.