Dedicated to comic characters…


Why am I destined to meet all sorts of strange people in the world? I keep asking this question every time I come across such a person. After seeing that ‘omnipresent’ woman, the same thought crossed my mind. I wondered what she was doing in Pune. Her presence was striking. She was from my hometown in Konkan and was well-informed about every small development in the vicinity. Right from wedding to funeral, she was seen everywhere. She wouldn’t need an invitation, as she considered it was her privilege. Everyday she would frequent every house to break the news she had. Whenever I went to my hometown even for a brief stay, she would inform one and all. If I went to her neighbour’s house first, she would point out how long I sat there! She kept watch on every person. Yes, she irritated me no end, as she would be eternally seen moving from one place to another.
And there she was in Pune! I learnt from my mom that the woman’s daughter had bought a flat close to my place. The woman started networking here too. That’s the reason I call her ‘omnipresent’.
Why this woman alone, I am sure each of us has such people around. This lot is worried about every small happening in the world, not happy about anything and spends time on all sorts of uncalled for things. Poking nose into others’ business is something they can’t help.
Here is my aunt, who is constantly cross with every person, right from a maid to watchman to all relatives. Every time I visit her house, she is cribbing about something. She has weird notions about people. Look at her labels; servants-unfaithful, daughter in laws-selfish and arrogant, youngsters-spoilt, children-pampered… Every person sounds a crook! She is always arguing with someone, shopkeepers, auto-drivers, you name it and it’s there! How can she be happy?
A security guard at our office is still different a character. He believes I have knowledge about everything under the sun and finds his adviser in me for everything; right from classified advertisements of buying houses to his son’s schooling or sickness! He flashes some medicines and asks me if he should have it. This, despite my telling him in no uncertain terms that I am neither an investment consultant nor a doctor!! Everyday, at 6 pm, he switches the office air-conditioner off as nights are ‘cold’. As if the power bill is burning a hole in his pocket. He keeps a tab on people’s in and out timings despite knowing the department called HR is paid to do the job. Every Saturday, he tells us that housekeeping guys’ salary should be cut as they report late on duty. I wonder why he is concerned about everything save his job. Now, he is asking our department to write an article on ‘issues of security guards’.
Look at my friend’s mother. She is a fanatic cleaner. She is flaunting a zadu all day. You visit the household and it would be difficult to tell her from maid. One day my friend and I were sitting in their living room. Suddenly a head emerged from a sofa. I bet she would run into you from every unexpected corner! I found it strange when we were sitting, she was hell bent on cleanliness. My friend was visibly embarrassed.
The other day, a gentleman called at our office for free passes of a music festival organised by our newspaper. He is cribbing why free passes are not home-delivered and how there needs to be special arrangements for senior citizens. Gosh! Why am I destined to meet all sorts of strange people in the world?
Funny characters seem transcending comedy shows, movies and books. They live with us day-to-day. They may irritate us at times but they spice up our otherwise mundane lives.
-KanChan

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