This is something that has been on my mind for quite sometime. I unfold my laptop and look into the screen, which ogles at me with quite a blank face! But who’s interested in a face when there are possibilities galore beneath it. When I just walk past in a crowded street, with faces and expressions scaterred all around me, I do dare to look at them and surprisingly everytime there is only one thing that crosses my mind, within every face, that looks more than ordinary, lies a story, very uncommon, untold, and hidden skillfully under the veil of THE COMMON MAN.
I’m sure you remember the character of Bob Biswas from the movie Kahaani. Exactly, you got me right! His was a face of a commnon man, a man who has nothing extraordinary in his face, yet he had an interesting story to tell, rather a horrifying one! The most decent person in your offfice, just next to you can be a rapist! The person with whom you go to bed every night can be a monster in disguise, a cheater or maybe someone who hates you everytime beneath the love-laced words!
My motive is not to fill your mind with pessimism, but to bring up some incidents that did made a difference to the way this lady thinks, the lady who’s scribble you are looking at.
Who qualifies as a JACKASS in your dictionary? For me it was the man I remember with distaste! A simple summer evening, and with a hell lot of hurry in my head, I rushed towards the autorickshaw that came to my sight. I got in and it was empty. The driver was on manhunt and I was cursing him coz I was getting late. A middle aged man, in his thirties maybe, came by and sat beside me. Slowly the auto filled up but I started feeling a bit awkward suddenly. The man beside me made me uncomfortable by the way he sat. I became impatient to get off.. Suddenly I realised that a hand was behind me, trying to wrap over my shoulders and deliberately trying to touch me offensively. I turned my head vehemently and strongly told the man to behave. The asshole did listen and behaved as if he was so sorry but believe me I felt like breaking him into pieces! My brush with indecency was done and I saw the face, a JACKASS beneath the COMMON MAN. I know I might be having a Greek god asset but they are not up for grab! Morons! aaaarrrrrgh!!!
A lady, I see her everyday, she works as a maid in our neighbourhood. She wears the same saree as her counterparts. Argues in the same lingo with her memsaab/saab. Everything is just the same but why then do you think I am mentioning her here? She was caught with our apartment’s security guard one night, when the man was on duty. A middle of night commotion broke my elixir and I woke up to see people gathering downstairs to catch them in action( by then it was over for sure!). The day after, and certain probe into the situation revealed that she was actually a prostitute, who “worked overtime” as a maid to earn extra bucks and maintain “respect”.
Another lady in a reputed college in Kolkata is someone who appears as a rigid lady, a strict disciplinarian in her vista, but she was the girl who could not marry her beloved years ago, and her love was so true that didn’t marry for the rest of her life. Even when her family protested and took her away, she remained the “girl in love” forever beneath the face of a strict college principal.
The man who regularly travels by bus no.201 to Howrah, sleeping in a corner until he reaches his stoppage and who was spending his days stuck in the dingy ticket counter, giving tickets, was arrested from his home recently, his warrant said he was the kingpin of a racket that did business with human kidneys. They killed unwary people for their kidneys!
The boy who is a regular at the football ground killed his friend cool headedly just because his friend was very rich, and that he was jealous. He wanted equality, and found it in his friend’s death! SICK! Isn’t it?
Life always comes up with canvases, whose spread is so large that we tend to miss out on the portions that never got coloured.
Humanity has an interesting face to it. It is masked, the faces we see around have stories, incidents, accounts, mysteries to tell. There remains countless words unheard, unspoken.
I am walking past you, I am somewhere around you, my face is common, I am all ears, I ask, “do u want to shed your mask?”
The mask of THE COMMON MAN??