Looking out for moments
This is an assignment I'm going to enjoy immensely. I have to look out for incidents over the next few days. It can be any snippet of life that comes across as interesting to me. I like this role of an observer being thrust upon me; I usually walk around in my own bubble, with reality an intrusion I could do without.
- A woman wearing a white salwar-kurti with a blue printed dupatta, along with two others, passed by a man with a black leather bag. Both realized that her dupatta had got stuck to his bag, only after they were a metre away from each other and her dupatta was pulled away from her shoulder. A rather quaint scene - filmi, really. Everyone - the woman, her companions and the man - turned around to face each other at the same time.
- A guy (late teens - early twenties) was sitting alone, in a corner of Cha Bar in Oxford Bookstore, sipping his beverage. It seemed that he'd been sitting there for some time now, completely engrossed in his book. Nothing extraordinary in itself, but I have rarely seen anyone do that in Calcutta and my own attempts have been in vain. Then again, the place was much more conducive to such activity than others - no intrusive music, few customers (small place, really), tables spaced out and set in a bookstore. And from what I could make out, the guy's mobile was on discreet and he was screening his calls. He didn't seem to be waiting for anyone. I wonder what was he reading? Did he plan to buy the book? Was he a regular there? Did he do this often? Was he just passing time?
- Around three pm, there is a traffic jam around Xaviers school, unique to well-populated schools surrounded by small streets and flanked by bigger roads housing offices and markets. Every availible space is utilized, really. In the middle of all this is a white ambassador clearly going against the tide, or rather the one-way direction. It is filled with school kids and any doubts concerning who would attempt such a stunt at such an hour is quickly cleared by the red shiny number-plate declaring it to be the property of the Government of India. Car pool duty?
- A man carrying a piece of paper was genuinely muttering to himself as he walked on the road. (I've never actually seen people do that, except in books and movies) It was something about the stupid place he can't find and the stupidity of sending him to do whatever work he had to do. The second he finished his harangue, he swiveled right to ask a man, sitting at a roadside dhaba, for directions. At this point I walked past him and knew no more of his elusive destination.
- A girl at a restaurant checked two chairs for any rocking movement, then exchanged her own chair at the table seating her party with one of them. But she wasn't satisfied till she checked a few others and performed one final exchange to realize that all her lunch companions as well as the waiters had been staring at her throughout her little exercise.
- A group of around fifteen college students were standing outside the locked gates of a small park in a nondescript street. The sidewalk outside the park gate was littered with building material, and was hardly wide enough for all of them and the group overflowed into the street. It was clearly not a place to 'hang out'. They were having an animated discussion, bordering on argument; most of them surrounding two people sitting on bricks who formed the focal point and a few others having more private discussions. Must have been intriguing for anyone passing by.