Friday, 20 November 2009

The case of the missing banana seller

I met Bhagwan today. I had not seen him for at least 2 weeks.

Normally as I turn into the gate of our building complex I buy bananas from him. He is an old man, an migrant from Uttar Pradesh who sells green bananas from his cart in the evenings out side the 'Happy Valley Homes.'

I had been wondering where Bhagwan was. Had he moved back to his native place? Had he been chased away from his business by someone. Had a wedding taken place in his family? Had he died?

It turns out the latter was almost correct.

On the first of this month, a live electrical wire had fallen down on him, burning him badly. He had been admitted at the government hospital and was treated for 15 days. He walks with a limp and a bandage on his leg, and has been badly burned on his torso.

Its a miracle he is alive.

Looking at his unshaven white speckled face I could not help thinking about the brevity of life. Who knows what happens to so many around us. One day they are here. The next day, silence.

In the continual rumble and dull din of the great city, people often seem reduced to mere shadows.


  1. Brevity or fragility?

    Beautiful, evocative writing, as usual, Andi.

  2. Thanks Faisal. Full points for your faithful reading. Really encourages me bro!

  3. Bhagwan has finally returned to work. His bananas - slightly squashed and a bit over-priced - are on sale again (esp. for his favourite customer).