Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity.
- Coco Chanel
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What you are looking at for so long? I questioned that old man sitting beside me in park bench.
Silence – No words from him. He was looking at my hands for a long time that I could feel.
You see it’s irritating!!!
No response from him.
Want to make a call anybody?
Since his sight was at my phone, I understood. He said no. A strong and stubborn voice came. It keeps you annoyed when somebody looks continuously. When he started seeing for a moment I felt happy and now keeping me in annoyance. Glanced at him, there was nothing admiring with him, without any kind of technological gadgets, He is a man that’s all.
But with standstill sight with face full of beard raised a question he is man or not? His behaviour was indifferent. He was sitting, one leg was totally straight and other was folded up on his other leg. Neck rested on the bench. I guessed may be drunken. But I could not able to find smell of a liquor.
I am Vincent, sitting in the park bench waiting for my lover’s arrival. We generally date by going outside. For a change we planned to meet at this park. While all benches of the park where shared by couples, the only bench was with two men’s are mine. I should move away this fellow from here to have a good time with my girl and also three cannot share this bench, If it will be shared it will spoil the whole time. He may start looking at both of us.
I saw my girl coming over there. My girl’s hands waving, on move towards me. I think she should have noticed me with this man. She always come late, but she maintained punctuality this time. This is a critical time, having a dirty beside me could not able find a place to make seated comfortably.
Asking him “Could you please move? “ When I turned to see his face, he was not there. I saw he was walking towards a big tree in that park. I could see his back with a poor coat covered something scribbled over it. I noticed his one leg was artificial and he moved slowly, in balancing the both. By the time my girl arrived at me.
What’s up babe? Looking so tensed!!
No, I was just thinking about you, came so early today?—replied.
She got a phone call in-between. While she was in call- My mind felt bad, after seeing his legs. How he could sit in grass, since all benches were engaged. What he will do? Walk with regular walkers around infinity circle. If so, how he will walk? Those sugar patients walking to expel sweat and reduce sugar level but, how he will? I said to myself nothing will happen to him, he will walk and reach safely home.
My girlfriend cut the call and started looking at me. I was not aware. What are you looking so long over there Vincent?
No, just seeing the nature, what was the call Jenifer? I s everything Okay?
No, I have to go now dear, my father on the way from office to pick me up in Anandarao Circle bus station, He will reach in an hour over there, so, am sorry, we will spend time together in coming week.
Understanding her situation, I told Jenifer to leave before traffic raise and take care.
She had some steps after saying bye. She came back.
What happened Jenifer? Missed anything?
Forgot to take Selfie.!!!
We had a selfie together. She left park. Waving hands at her, I realised I need to sit for an hour for my route bus. My costly bike in service. If I had now with me, I could had a bike ride with my girl. I saw the same old man coming slowly towards me. Many things were running in my mind. I could see there was a great difficulty in walking for him. He carried slowly.
He came near to me and asked “Can I sit now young man”? It was like someone slapping me. I just got irritated first and later I amused at his mind reading.
I thought of asking how do you know towards him, but mind resisted. I just said yes you can.
A strong silence between. I thought to leave from the park. But another thought convinced, instead of waiting in bus stop nearby and here is same; secondly, do some justice to this old man. Since I have not given room to sit.
Where you have been sitting for the past fifteen minutes? I asked.
I was not sitting, I had a walk up to my car and ensured whether locked or not? I am Getting older seems, it was locked. He said adjusting his beard.
I just got stunned upon hearing this. Car? Your car? You drive Sir???
Sir!!?? Yeah Car. Its mine and do you know Nicholas James Vujicic?
I understood clearly – This old man is not the man we thought. Instead of giving a direct answer Yes I drive, he is telling the man with absence of arms and legs who does all the things which an ordinary man can do.
Yeah, I know him sir.
Fine, May I ask you some questions to you – young man? Don’t worry, I won’t bore you.
Ye sir. Nothing like that. Now his image has just turned to millionaire from beggar. I was responding differently towards him, I can able to find.
When I was continuously looking over your phone, you asked me whether I want to make a call – My question is why didn’t you see me and ask that question?
I don’t have a solid answer for this sir. Since, you are a stranger I avoided. But, I noted your presence and movements.
That’s fine. I saw a girl beside you sitting, from a long walk. I know she should be your girl friend
Question is not who is she? How many times you both have eye contact or a smile at each other?
I scratched my head, rewind. She arrived, I was heading in phone, when I was seeing her she was talking in phone. Sir hardly one or two time. In that one was during selfie.
If I am knocking more your personal things you can say No.
No issues sir, you may.
I was a stranger, so you have avoided me that is quite sensible. But what she? How many years you are in relationship?
Almost two years completed sir.
That is great. Your virtual reality is good. But when there is honey in front of you, would you like to study about its taste in internet?
I kept mum.
You may check social websites now. While photos and videos may give you thousands likes but as humans when we are going to hit our inner like button?
Sir, well. What is Inner like button?
Excuse me sir. A call. (That was a video call from her)
Ya sure. Please proceed.
When I was in a call with her, he didn’t gaze at my phone as he did. I saw he was looking at his phone for a while. I didn’t get surprised now. I understood how gentle this man.
Call over sir.
Where we are?
Inner like button!!!
Yes, let me tell with you example. You are calling me “Sir.. Sir.. “now. Is this respect was before? When it came? It was after, when you knew I am having a car. You didn’t see as a human being, my appearance and is there any other value added things with me, simply looked me with price tag. I meant inner like button – to see human beings as they are.
A big building starts from security to CEO, I say respect must be same. I think you might understood what I meant! You may defend with same stranger statement, this is happening in relationships too!!
How I say relationship – At some point you just get inside the circle, objects and money are the prime factors to everyone. It is no use when you give tons and tons of money to your old aged parents from foreign when nobody is there with them to give a cup of water.
I agree and I am sorry for that.
Don’t feel sorry Vincent. I didn’t mean for it.
I have experienced some old aged parents asking me – “Is there any problem in my cell phone? My son call not being received in this.”
Sir, I will never go to that extent.. Never.
If you are not well and fine. I have daughter, when she talks video call she never recognises, even person in video call walks before her. She doesn’t bother about our calls but she cares phone calls.
That’s funny sir.
No, it is a disease my friend. Virtual reality is virtually real, but not real.
I think you should have a separate room at your home.
Yeah sir. When your father or mother calls you, will you respond instantly or minutes later or forget it ?
Will not respond immediately but will respond.
That’s fine. But, there is also a new trend of calling. This technique we found to call our daughter from her world. Later this was used to call everybody in family.
What technique sir?
Just a switch off is enough. When you switch off the modem box connection, entire family assembles near it. You see for a family get together nothing required just a switch off button is enough.
You are absolutely right sir. But how can we avoid, phone has become integral part of life!!
I don’t say to avoid. At least one can minimise. A new born baby does not demand cell phone game to stop his/her crying. But we do there and we are proud that in three years our child is playing candy crush. Indirectly, child is getting under the control of game’s sound and not parent’s voice.
Can you point out a person here – he should just come and sit in park bench and his hands should not go automatically in search of cell phone.
After waking up what we search? Our hands automatically goes to phone.
Whether you say these controls not in our hands??
I agree sir.
Being idle is looked like crime. Of course you too did the same. When I was seeing you, there was shouts from you. If you had a man with a mobile near you, no problems and this much conversations would not have come, Isn’t it?
Here I say not to look at your gadgets absolutely. Look on peoples too. Nothing crime. Look beside. Sometimes a person nearby you may be looking at cell phone without respiration, may be dead. As a human you can give hands. That’s what I insist. Facing eyes and travelling in people is better than racing in your games with head down. People like to show them they are engaged in something but engaged in what decides accountability.
I kept mum. Many things were running in my mind that time. Every man has his own resource. Whatever he experienced he likes to share, but the listener should not argue this may not happen in m life why should I hear?
Also recalled, how many times I had refused my parents talk. They might had something to say. If I ask them now, they won’t. It won’t happen again. Felt moments are precious.
What happened young man? Thinking much. Good. I talked more, what about you? What about her?
Me and she studying fashion technology, she is a good pretty girl.
Both love each other? Have you talked with her parents for next step? What her parents doing?
No sir. Still not yet. I should. I don’t know what her parents. As you told, I have not yet travelled, I will travel.
Ha ha.. A wide laugh.
What happened sir? Why are you laughing..?
Nothing. Travel is a term. It may be of any kind. May hurt, kiss, touch, kill, and trigger anything you don’t expect. But it will never hurt you once you know you are just a traveller.
Sir, I am not getting you.
Fine. For the past one month travel with my daughter she shuts the door daily and not opening up to me what she feels, what is her difficulty – what will you feel?
I am asking what happened child? She will say nothing dad, I am fine.
If you are in my place, what you feel young man?
Quite abnormal sir. She may be having personal issue.
You are right. In a travel with her found she is in Love. I approached with lots of alliances she said. The reason behind the word No was known by me today.
That’s a great catch sir. Have you conveyed to your daughter?
No still not. But given a green signal, by commenting their first photo upload in Facebook and sent a friend request to him.
That’s sweet sir.
Yeah sweet. Have you observed? My daughter happy to share their photo to the world but not ready to introduce her own father.
Okay young man, I think I haven’t bored you. I am sure it is a quality time compared to scratching in cell phone. I am sure, you will not weigh people by looks and don’t forget to hit your inner like button. Gave me a tight hand shaken.
Sir, sure sure. Thank you, let me help you sir. I helped him to get from bench
Thank you young man.
It’s okay sir. Where are you going now sir?
To pick my daughter I am moving now. Shall I drop you?
No, Thank you sir.
Tell me sir.
After ten years, you may saying to your child – once upon a time, in 2017. Every technology we utilise today will be swallowed by another big technology. When you are approach to your end, imagine you what will be running in your mind?
Sir, I might be thinking about …
Let it be with you. You won’t definitely think about the gadgets, cars or any sophistication or earnings.
Time with lovable or related with peoples. That’s all Vincent. That’s all from me.
He turned and said I am okay with hands.
Waved hands with thanks in air. I thought he has given some dimensions to my life. Looked people with no flaws. Went to bus stop, picked up bus. Seated.
Received call from her.
Hey Vincent.. What’s up?
Good Jenifer. Have you reached circle?
Yeah Vincent. What about you?
Yeah. On way to home.
Okay, the selfie taken today; I have posted in Facebook Vincent. Huge likes… I am very happy.
That’s Glad. Our pair become sensational it seems.
Something strike my mind. Hey an important call, will call you back Jenifer!!!!
I could recall… he called me young man for some time and I didn’t even introduce myself, but, he called me Vincent. I understood clearly now. But not fully.
For a full understanding, I logged in Facebook. Many Notifications blinking in top and one friend request. Friend request from a person named Nicholas James.
I called back Jenifer.
Jenifer any comments for our photo?
Yeah. From many commented.
Fine Jeni!!! Is there any comment from Nicholas James?
Yeah. Is there.
Jenifer, do you know who he is?
Don’t know Vincent, Just added as friend. May be anybody’s Mutual friend.
Okay please read the comment,
“Travel, hands together”
He was clear when he was not able to travel with her daughter. He began to travel with a person who is going to travel with his daughter for the rest life. He wished both to join.
Do you know him Vincent?
It sounded “No” for her. But I said “Know”. I just started my Progress.
Fallen down as walls and started acting as bridges