I’m in a mood to ramble. More than ever. 3rd post in a span of 5 hours? Never happened before. I was blog hopping and ended up reading this blog end to end. Some very very cool posts. This particular post reminded me something that happened to me once in Hyderabad.
I was living in Maradpally. As usual, took a cab home at around 8. Its a long drive home from office. So it was about 9ish when I got to Maradpally. I got off at the end of the lane cos I needed to pick up something from the supermarket. Hyderabad is a safe city. I’ve taken an auto back with Roomie at 2 in the morning and fought with the auto-driver over spiked auto meter, loudly at that. Its not something I’d ever dream of doing in Madras. In fact, I don’t think I’ve travelled in an auto past 9pm here. Getting back to the story, the road that led to my house from the supermarket was poorly lit as always. Under the lone streetlight on the narrow road, there was an abandoned TVS 50 and lying next to it was an old man. My first impulse was that there had been an accident. I slowly moved towards the man unsure of what to do really. But as I moved closer, I realised he was mumbling something undecipherable in a language I didn’t recognise. I stood right there for a full minute unsure of my next move. People kept going past us. A few gave me a second glance. More out of curiosity, I guess. Just as I unscrewing the cap of my water bottle to sprinkle some water on his face, another gentleman stopped. He seemed like my grandpa. Same kind eyes and laid back attire of going for a leisure evening walk. He looked at me questioningly and I shrugged saying I don’t know what happened to the old man. He moved closer and the stench of alcohol hit him. He signaled for me to move away and keep walking. ‘He just drunk,’ he said, very casually. I kept standing there cos he wasn’t exactly young and I wasn’t sure how he would lift the drunk man up. I didn’t feel right about leaving him alone.
In all this, the drunk old man woke up and tried to roll over and stand up. In this process, another bottle of alcohol rolled out of his pant pocket sounding wicked as it rolled over on the gravel. Even in his drunken stupor he felt about for his precious bottle and refused to be helped up without it. I still stood rooted to the same spot, in shock. The other gentleman kept signalling for me to leave and gave me an encouraging smile. I walked away, unable to grasp the gravity of what I just saw. People kept walking past, wrapped up in their world, refusing to help a man struggling with a stubborn drunk. Maybe this old man’s world was a small one too, just him and his bottle.