THE WATCHMAN

May 6, 2017

 

In a scabby corner of Parle east our society rests. In the light of recent events such as thefts,the need for a guard was felt which meant that a soon to be terrorized person in Mumbai came over. He seems to slide in through the gates at around 8 am. Medium height, curly hair, impassive face; he sits in his chair with his back to the building. Somehow no one has yet thought of asking his name. This peaceable man used to sit tight in his place and not move unless being specifically asked to. He was just a show piece and subsequently managed to develop a nice round belly. Listening to the radio and disappearing when he is most needed were a part of his consistent routine which could have worked elsewhere but unfortunately he came in this lazy corner of Parle and his luck took a twist. The twenty flats of Roopali are an autonomous body unto themselves. Mostly scattered with over enthusiastic retired oldies, some with diligent but tired housewives and some with self proclaimed and created posts of a spy. Once all these "in-love-with-my-Roopali" people noticed that this darling hardly ever moves, they took matters into their own hands. The guard is usually hired so that people are worry free and feel more secure in their homes, but here it's a little different, here people are constantly observing and spying on Mr x to see whether he's doing his job or not. Automatically, this makes our premises free of danger because at least 4 people per hour are watching Mr x and instructing him to do his jobs. The most enthusiastic among these are a certain Mrs C, Mrs M and Miss R and another Miss R. We share our compound wall with a set of insufferable people who have zero civic sense and no respect for other people's space and time. For the sake of convenience, let's call these people the "Gs". The Gs seem to have too many visitors over. These visitors park their cars bang in the middle of our gate. Obviously, the inconvenience this causes is insurmountable and hence the irritation levels keep running high. The observant Roopaliers noticed that Mr x hardly ever moves to tell these people off and that inspite of his presence they had to fight the battle themselves.

The reign of terror for Mr X started on that fateful day. Are we bothered that our gate is blocked? Yes. Are we bothered that Gs are not considerate? Yes. Are we unhappy to shout and fight? Yes. Are we unhappy that Mr x does nothing to help? No. We are mad, angry, livid, furious, irate....

On one such sad day a certain Mrs C returned from her tour across Parle on her scooter and found the gate blocked. First the concerned driver was yelled at, the Gs guard screamed down and then her flashing eyes landed on Mr X who was most unsuccessfully trying to camouflage with the surroundings. What happened next is too scary to write about. If Mrs C is scary, then Mrs M is horror incarnate. Whenever she plans to go anywhere on her scooter or in the car the mere ringing word "WATCHMAN" sends Mr X running at speed of light. First the Roopali people shout at Gs and call them animals (a certain Miss R) and then turn around and talk to them in an incomprehensible version of Hindi ( the other Miss R) then the four will gather and shout at the Gs and Mr X together. After threatening drivers, shouting curses, and recently- direct course of action-deflating tires, the floodgates of  are opened and Mr X is washed away with the flow. His sullen self reappears in the morning. His life has taken a highly unpleasant turn. His well earned belly is gone as he has to run from gate to gate trying and failing to scare the shameless drivers and opening and closing the gates at the call of "Watchman" some would think this is a new way to train for the marathon. He is blamed shouted at and told off by at least 5 residents every day and we note a certain drop in his Cheery smile. The rosy tinge on his face is now replaced by a ghost White look and his dull watery eyes now swim with fear.We predict or maybe hope that he resigns soon. The residents await a new victim. Of course we will never know his name. For them all there is only one call- WATCHMAN!

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