The Theatre Artist

The sun tried to scare us of heat. Little did he know we were well equipped and habitual of this kind of weather. Sipping water for our survival in the sun. It met him after a long time. And like always he was in his tracks, short kurta, a stubble and observant eyes. We were walking down the road to the metro. I bought two packets of chips from his money. It’s really hard to make them spend. They barely have some. Their whole life is on rent. Most of the expenses are of the combo of tea and cigarette. The life of a theatre artist is a cheap and hard one. Performing plays, reading scripts, discussing roles, rehearsals and what not. Meeting him was a difficult task but who likes it easy. I was busy and he was too. I had recently changed college and was struggling with the expectant disciplined life. In conversation, he obviously told he had a rehearsal. So, I had to take his leave but as we were walking towards the metro. An old man in his seventies walked to us and asked for the metro. I am afraid of people walking around like this. But we happily helped him. The man resumed walking and suddenly turned to us and asked for ten rupees in the token. As I was trying to ignore him, the half-bent man started to open his pants and showed us his urine pouch. “I am going through a treatment..” his voice begun cracking. “They replace it every day, I have to visit the hospital every day and today I forgot my wallet.” “How much do you need?” My friend asked. “Ten rupees, I have thirty but the token will cost 40” flashing his thirty rupees. He dropped a note and I picked it and returned to him. “Thank you, I have been in service for forty years and my son is in the service too, he couldn’t come to take me” My friend gave him ten rupees and the old man blessed us. “Why did you give him money?” I enquired as I never give money like this. “I just wanted to observe him,” he said. And I took his leave, going down towards the platform, I saw the old man fool another man. In my mind, I knew, he couldn’t fool my friend.

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