Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The old man with walking stick!

He sat there, on that cemented plinth by the side of the road.One could see the frayed skin, wrapped and wrinkled by the ages it had seen. A white, starched shirt fluttering in the mild breeze , hung over the frail skelton that his body depicted. A plastic bag full of flowers was held firmly by his left hand, with  a long red and yellow mark on his forehead , drawing upto the center of eyes, alluding blatantly to his religious sect. I had to answer him, but I couldn't. There was a limit to my understanding of his languege, both because it came from the tongue that I didn't understand to great extent, and  because it  was warped with  frailty in his voice.

Clutching tightly,  his walking support in one hand, he look at me ,with a wondering non-chalance and then, spoke in gentle english. "I am just waiting over here. I had come for a walk and I will go back alone. My daughter works over there, in that building, but do not disturb her with this , I can manage my own walk."

I was relieved at that ,more so because the man happened to be talking English and sense, and thus he couldn't be lost , or sick or mad. I smiled back at him and bade him good bye,relieved, with a calm in my soul. He will manage.

Hardly had I walked, some distance, I felt a strong urge to turn around and look at him once again. He was walking away, bent body, waddling on his two frail legs, with his shirt dangling on that scaffolding of his skeleton, and hands trembling as he pressed that walking stick on ground to take the next step. With those precarious steps, he moved away, and I kept looking at him ,as the silhouette of his body, determined to exist, painted itself againt thet bright afternoon light. He had managed his walk!