Friday, March 19, 2010

Across the Street

Have you, dear reader, ever been to the colonies ravaged by builders, where every bit of land is squeezed to make a row house fit into it? Where the philosophy of the builder has an element of mysticism to it.He wants  you to empathize with your fellow beings in villages that have no roads and on the other side he amazes you with the generosity with which he makes a street which you could gaily call a greater version of a ‘pagdandi’. If you have ever had such mystic experiences you know exactly where I stay and the setting of my narrative.

Her daughter is angry with her today. Since morning she has just been asking her to do some work and has not even said "good morning". The little seven year old is hurt and sits on the terrace alone, venting all her pain to an imaginary friend of her’s for the consolation of a patient listening sans moralizing. She called for her girl aloud from the first floor in her nasal and shrill voice - “Where the hell are you? Didn’t I ask you to tidy the bed? Couldn’t you find a better time to while away on the terrace?”
My heart pained for the young one. Can’t she be somewhat soft with her children? The girl climbs down the stairs and enters the house. I hear no sound now. 
I am sure they are unaware of the fact that they have an avid audience in me, their neighbour. Though our houses face each other we had never been friends. To be  precise  we had never wanted to be either and were quite happy being cordial neighbours until one day we just wished that our houses could turn their backs on each other . And I am sure even if the houses wanted to do as we wished them to the street would never allow.Playing the austere symbol of a sublime philosophy,it would have never let such animosity to grow on its edges.            If only it could!
In spite of all that not being friends and now not being neighbors either, I have always had  a keenness in her life. She is an ordinary lady with three kids, little means, a whole bunch of household work and a decently non demanding job. The little insight that our dear street allows into her private life, I have always seen her going about her work, calling out or talking to her children( something that is very close to shouting), or taking her two wheeler out to drive all the way to her work.  Over the years, nothing has changed the way she has been living her a day and giving every bit of her life for being what I so casually call
a ‘homemaker’.  It was only a couple of years back that they built two rooms for themselves and I imagined on her face the satisfaction of a job well done, of a home well made. As I saw the progress of the rooms being built on the first floor of her house and the path for sunshine to greet my windows shrink , I complaint and appreciated her in a peculiar blend of incomprehensible feelings. Though I have learnt to miss the sunshine I haven’t still learnt to appreciate my neighbors who are not friends.
Everyday I go to my veranda and look at her house, her children, listen to her conversations with them. Everyday I face her as both of us push off for work at the same time and everyday I strangle my inert wish to meet her eyes across the street, smile and say “You have made a beautiful house!”.


  1. Hello everybody! I am just hoping that no one has forgotten the way to my blog. After weeks of writing an odd number of application and scholarship essays, I am back to searching within and exploring the space on "I Believe".
    And perhaps all will nod their heads in agreement when I say that being back to blogging is a great feeling.
    Karthik, credit is due to you buddy for your sound advice. Burp burp!!:)

  2. Hi Pallavi,

    Never say that i forgot the way to your blog or something..Every second day i check your blog and many times i write to you as well.But last few days due to traveling i was not well connected to the system so ......Well about this post what i felt is that your urge of meeting the lady is increasing and morally motivating you to appreciate the lady !! Same happens with me sometimes that i wish to appreciate someone with whom i am having only social relationship but never get the right time...But beautiful words ...This indicates that you are adopting your new environment...Great post as always...

  3. Bharat:Your comments are always flattering.I am glad you could relate.

  4. wow!!!! pallavi is back pallavi is back!!!
    *does a little welcome jig
    n back wid her beautifully woven with intricate details:) how i love readin yr posts...coz they are so simple...easy to relate with...and realistically touching:)) way to go!!!

    kip smilin..god bless:)

  5. Sound advice???!!! Hahahahaha... lol... :D
    That's funny. You know, when I give some so-called "sound" advices to my friends, they listen intently and say at the end, "Thanks dude, you rock!" Later, they do the exact opposite. And voila! It works for them perfectly well.
    On the contrary, when I sit at my dinner table and say, "grace," somebody, living on the other side of the world, listens and also applies it, and it works?! Lo! it's so good to know. Yeee-haaa! *burp burp* :D

    Waakay, waakay, now coming to the post; it's excellent. Superbly analyzed. Can't say I could relate to this, as my neighbours are the biggest morons on the face of the earth. :x
    But your case is different, isn't it? I kinda pity that woman. Who knows what problems she has that's forcing her to be rude with her children? It's always good to appreciate if someone really deserves it. This point, I can empathize with you. But not the "neighbours-good friends" thingy. Hehehe.. :D

    So when's your next post coming up? ;)

  6. Grace...

    The neighbors who are not friends... who are not even acquaintances. Yet they have managed to influence you. Still you are bound to them... without the need for speech.

    After all, we can, none of us, deny the 'oneness' of the human race. We are bound... whether the bonds are acknowledged or not.

    Your thoughts do you credit.. :))


  7. hey good to see you back in blogsville :)...a nice post...but I feel that there should not be any hesitation in appreciating someone...because if u hesitate, that means its not straight from the the next time u see her, go ahead and let the words flow...:)

  8. My dear Divsi, you are such a sweetheart!!!
    If you could see me reading your comments or messages you would find a 32 out smile on my face. I am so glad I found you here.
    And truly, way to go...

  9. Karthik: You think I should rather start calling you Gurudev from now on?
    I am happy that I found some point of agreement between us.Besides, don't be so harsh on your neighbours da! who knows there might be an exception to the moron phenomenon.
    And hats off to your superb wit!!!

  10. Karthik: As for the next post... if you want I can post one of my many admission essays now itself. Give my creative faculties some time da!

  11. Dagny: For the first time I feel like dancing. None other than Dagny Samrock herself has read my blog!!! You are one ideal blogger and some day this space too will have a mark of being inspired by you.
    Love you a lot!!!
    Tickles and hugs due on Monday.

  12. Umesh: I agree with you in thoughts.Its great to interact with people who have their perspectives right. It is truly motivating and I make a promise to you here that I surely will bridge that gulf between thoughts and actions.