As I came out of the house, I heard a voice singing, ‘Laal Chadi maidan khadi’ and I winced. Yes, I was wearing a red dress. There was a person standing in the balcony of the first floor house, a big bulky guy and I felt like laughing, for a man of his size, his voice was quite raspy. The man had the audacity to smile. I had evidently smiled at my thoughts and that man had smiled back at me. I glared at him turned and went on my path.
I am a tuition teacher. Mornings I work as a clerk. Evenings I take tuition. I have to. After my husband passed away, to make ends meet, I have to work like this. My mother-in-law stays with us and she takes care at the home, while I battle it out in the open.
The following day as I went to the Sharmas for tuitions, I took care to dress conservatively. It was a dull blue salwar kameez. Again on my return back I heard a song. I tried to listen to the words, it went, ‘ Nile nile ambar par chand jab cha jaye’. I glared at the balcony, the bulky man was picking his tooth and gave me a toothy grin. I removed my sandal and showed it to him. He shrugged his shoulders and signalled a ‘why’. I went away, some people were just shameless.
The next two weeks were peaceful. It was raining intermittently. I had to take tuitions as it was exam time. But the opposite balcony was empty evidently because of the rains.
Today as I came out I heard, ‘Tumko dekha to ye khayal aaya….’. I raised my eyes; the man was not there. Maybe he was hiding behind the curtains and singing. I tried to peer but could not see him. I went back to the Sharmas and told them everything that had happened. Bittu my student heard me out and started laughing.
‘What happened’, I asked.
‘Roy Uncle is quite friendly you know. He waves at everyone and everything but no he is not the type who will tease women’, he said.
‘But he did sing and gave me a toothy smile too’, I said.
Bittu tears running down his cheeks now shook his head and said, ‘It is not Roy Uncle’, he said still laughing uncontrollably/
‘Then?’, I asked.
‘Did you notice a small cage hanging in the balcony in the flat adjacent to Roy Uncle’s’, he said.
‘No’, I said.
‘Sumedha’s house’, Bittu told his parents, ‘Well they have a parrot who listens to FM the whole day. He must have heard those songs on radio and must have been ‘rehearsing”, said Bittu still laughing. ‘Every evening, Sumedha hangs the cage outside so that the parrot can have some fresh air’.
I gave a sheepish grin and came out. Yes indeed there was the parrot in the cage still singing, ‘tumko dekha to’, and there was Roy uncle too waving and smiling away to everyone that met his eyes.
Written as a part of Write over the weekend (WOW) an initiative for Indian Bloggers by Blogadda. The theme this week is to write a post around the song, ‘tumko dekha to, ye khayal aaya’. Hope you enjoyed this post.