Yesterday walking back home, my mind was straying elsewhere. I was feeling low because I had failed to achieve something I should have achieved. Whenever I lose in life, all I want to do is hide my face in my hands and cry till my fill. And being in the middle of the road, that was exactly what I couldn’t do. Just then I noticed the mad-man.
That reminded me of my childhood. Every morning, when I waited for my school bus to pick me up, this mad-man would be around. He would be smiling to himself. There was a huge mess on his head; he had hair like many holy-men do. And had hardly any clothes.
My naughty kid brother would whisper into my ears, “I think he is a private detective, or he could also be from the CBI or something, on some mission, you know. And recently they recovered great wealth from the man’s house who sells eggs at the chakk.”
There used to be a makeshift shop of samosas near my bus stop. The mad-man would stand there, talking to himself, for sometime. On his good days, he would have two samosas thrown at him in a polythene bag, the curry leaking out of it. I used to watch him savor it. Soon my school bus would arrive, and I would get busy with other things in my mind. The mad-man would be out of my mind, until I noticed him the next time.
And so things went on. I was done with school. I did two years of college in my city. And I saw less of the mad-man with time. I went away to do my graduation. Things kept going on. I kept chasing the things I wanted to achieve. Exams-exams; Colleges…Certificates, Jobs, besides the other pleasantries of life.
And in this rat-race, when I failed to achieve something I should have achieved I was sad. And on the road, I met the mad-man again. His hair was the same, like jute in a quagmire. He was smiling to himself, chattering away, making gestures. And walking up and down the same road for the past so-many-years. Many-many years. I always fail to find myself in my past. But coming across him, I felt a pinch inside my heart. What has he achieved in the past many-many years? Where has life taken him? Probably he has walked up and down the same road hundreds of times. And look at his face, he is happy, isn’t he?
So why wasn’t I born a mad-man.