An impending blow. Lurking in some shadowy corner of time with a crooked smile over its invisibility to my eyes. Watching me proceed hesitantly with fear in my eyes and my staggering legs moving without focus. Knowing that the helpless prey is vaguely aware of a waiting predator.
Delhi is a perfect destination to be when one’s infected by gloom. It throws oil into the fire liberally. Added to it is its unusual gift to numb one’s emotions and freeze him in a state of detachment. One can lose his faith in humankind without any effort at all. There could be worse places. But Delhi is a class apart. Taking a walk through one of those slums or some of the trans Yamuna ghettos, one would wish that someone played “The End” of Doors from above.
Probably it’s my relative inexperience with these kind things. Or it’s my attitude towards it. As some of those spiritualists who teach people how to live suggests, one ought to maintain a positive attitude. See the cheerful side of everything. Hey look how funny it is, the skinny guy lying in a weird shape in a muddle by the road! Oops, somebody stepped on him!
I have often wondered over the sharp and glaring divide in the society here, despite thoroughly doubting my competence to technically analyse it. I remain merely a passive spectator to this phenomenon called Delhi. I neither am a sociologist nor aspires to be one. Like a typical mediocre lawyer, I try to find reasoning for everything and ends up confused.
The entrance to Nizamuddin East Colony is open only to private vehicles after about 8 pm. I had the idea that it is manned by Police. But seems like it is done by private security possibly hired by the association. So after about 8, they lower the barrier and raise it only for private vehicles. One day in Feb., I happened to pass by the entry point immersed in my private thoughts, pointlessly watching this lowering and raising exercise. And then an auto rickshaw attempted to pass through. From a hollow curiosity, I paused to watch the spectacle. The shabby clothed sentries probably hired on contract tried hand signing him to leave. When he proceeded without paying much heed to it, one of the sentries, went forward, pulled him out of the three wheeler and started slapping him on his face. Hard. Thrice. I could hear the slaps in spite of the earphones playing something. That did it. He hastily left. Just a minor incident.
I have no intention of portraying this as an instance of horrendous injustice because it was just a minor incident. At least, compared to some of the things that you can see as a routine matter in Delhi. In fact, I have witnessed this slapping thing numerous times in the past. It fails to evoke any emotion in me as it did the first time. What intrigues me is how I managed to escape from being slapped till this day in almost more than an year’s existence in Delhi. It’s not just an absurd thought. For I exist with these fellows. I depend on public transport. I walk through all the creepy places.
Maybe it is my pressed clothes. Or my talent to switch to that haughty expression in emergency conveying something to the effect that “look moron, I don’t belong to your society”. I have seen it working wonderfully with cops.
I too could get into a slap fight sometime in the future and make an entry in my logbook. But until then the present reasoning would hold good. Then I can start looking for a new one.