Sunday, January 18, 2009
I get so many ideas, thoughts at my coffee shop, you get to observer so much. guessing it’s because its a watering hole for people from many different strata's, many different worlds, and i am at my observing best when sipping on that hot strong coffee and puffing on that cig
There was this old guy, shivering, wearing a bori material shawl, shivering...quite sane, begging. Well don’t know exactly what he was asking me for, was asking in the local language, but then ur conditioned to assume that someone is begging, the clothes, the tone, the folded hands, the expression, anyways he came to me, my nani through my mom has taught me not to give money, instead give something to eat, so asked uncle (the shopekeeper, should ask his name) to give this guy a cup of tea. He started pouring the tea and then just to reconfirm told the guy he was giving tea, and this old dude, shivering as much as he was, said no. and uncle goes...’usa chai nahi daaru chahiye..’ and I smiled.
So after a night of drinking a guy still wants more. Bangalore is full of them, alcoholics who finish a quarter in a gulp, straight up, neat, and then fall right there in front of the seedy, grilled with a small window shop (known as theka in northern part of the country), and they are there all night, in the cold, on the footpath, passed out, sometimes pissing in their pants. And I wonder why?
Suddenly it struck me when a very good friend of mine told me ‘aaj raat party karte hai’ and I asked why, and he goes ‘if I don’t drink it feels weird, need to drink’. And it struck me...because they don’t have anything better to do, they are not going anywhere. Drinking, partying helps them pass those hours of nothingness, where if they didn’t have the glass or cig in their hands, would be forced to look at their lives, gaze in to the nothingness...and feel unhappy about it.
It’s just an escape from reality, a life of denial.
The second pic is of a ragpicker lady…she has a schedule, and has a job to do. And is very particular about it. Its like any other job, watching the TV playing in the shop, is the usual break that we all take from our mundane jobs. After about 15 mins, she is back to picking up recyclables.
And yes, she is a photographers dream, her look is amazing. She is the kind who can easily be on the covers of national geographic some day.
On another note, there is another uncle, hardly can walk, his left hand is paralyzed, but comes for a smoke every day. Can’t light the match so the coffee uncle does so for him, smokes a small goldflake, which tells me he has been smoking for a long long time. He always has a scowl on his face, he is angry with the world. He was disappointed some time back, but today he has lost that hope, today he is just angry. I am not good, ur not good kinds. And I feel sorry, not for him but for the world which does this to people his age. Whatever his history would have been, whatever he must have done to deserve being alone at this age, he doesn’t deserve this, no one at this age does. I am always reminded of my dad, who was good all his life, always worked to give his family a good life, but circumstances washed away his life’s hard work, even after 53 years of struggling, he is still struggling, and is asking, when will I get my dues. When will my life’s work pay up. He is becoming angry with the world. And I am becoming angry with myself.