Wherever and whenever possible I watch people. You might say nothing fascinates me more. But my people watching is restricted to the oddities..those 'Not run of the mill' you could say. I recently read somewhere someone saying, on my epitaph write, "He lived till he was alive". Wonderful words I thought. People who don't live, bore me to death. There is sadness, melancholy, bitterness and irritation and yet there is hope..the hope to LIVE life..just because of yourself..not dependent on someone for living. Because life in spite of everything is stunningly beautiful & should be lived with complete zest.
My hero s have always been self made people, people who have strive d and done different things in life, learners basically, who have been bored by the word 'permanent' & 'contentment'..because nothing eventually is...In the course of time I have met people, who have cycled round the world, pirated video cassettes, slept on the roads and done numerous odd jobs to become successful. Curiously enough, though each of these people might be successful now, they never stop at that & mostly they move on from that which made them successful & go on to try something they haven't tried before.
Some character s-
A- Mr let's say 'A' works in the creative field, an ad man, he has risen from the roads & pedaled his way up. Today recognized as one of the best in his field, he left it all to start a venture where he teaches kids in villages and teaches them to be independent..He'll probably be bored of that too someday he says, but by then he would have made sure that enough children have learnt the way to pass it on to others. He listens to Bob Dylan, takes pictures of goats, reads Kolatkar's poetry, has made the chappal a fashion statement and likes laughing at himself..He also roams the roads in search of adventure and seeing life like it is every night. A rock star and a bohemian, he fights injustice and the corrupt on the road, bashes up people when he wants to & yet is the softest soul you'll find. He also has a stream of the best looking women hanging on his arm ( which also he finds funny) Fascinating is the word.
B- A neighbor, a disciplinarian, a scholar and a perfectionist. Our Mr. 'B' is a guy, who is completely different from the bohemian me. And yet he fascinates me. He is a control freak and does everything on time. Talks in British English, reads nothing but Shakespeare, as if his life depended on it! Grumbles at everything, is full of idiosyncrasies, checks on his lock at least ten times after he has locked it, has tea on time, reads paper on time, walks on time & sleeps on time. I call him the 'Time machine' and yet a man of immense character, is never rude, always polite, fights injustice and stupidity in the same breadth, is very modern in his outlook and never minces his words. He hates most things Indian, does not believe secretly that he was destined to be born in India and yet cannot do without his Madrasi 'Kapi', because any other coffee is rubbish! He happens to be one of the best cartoonist's in India.
C- An online friend, I've never met Mr. 'C'. is a high profile photographer, he ran away from home at 16..why? because he was bored! He s made peace with his parents since then and emerged the softer kid who looks after his parents, while his more studious Cambridge educated brother doesn't really have the time! He 's full of fun and laughs at everything. To him an art show and a stand up comedy show are more or less the same thing, both are comic & different ways of looking at life. We share the love of Varanasi and according to him people who call Varanasi dirty, really don't have the eyes..I agree. A total mad cap, he has a son, to whom he is mother as well as father & in spite of being around the world all the time, earns the certificate of being 'the world's best daddy'. he just happens to have won some of the best photography awards one might ever think of & yet he says, he s going to leave it all, very soon.
D- A 65 year old Tamilian lady, is our let's say Lady 'D'. She lived most of her life shuttling between Spain & London, has a grown up son and a daughter. She loves her vodka, speaks 6 languages and runs for an hour everyday thinking of her evening drink. She married by the Ganges to a Tamilian Brahmin, learnt to wear a saree, dances the Salsa on weekends, rides a horse and goes for an African Safari every year. She stays in Chennai, can't speak a word of Tamil & loves her mother in law, whom she lovingly calls 'The Khadoos'. She also happens to be a teacher in one of the best schools in Chennai!
Life would have been so terribly boring without such people!
( Image courtesy Google)