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This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

October 17, 2009

Pin it up...

A few months back I was taking my regular haircut at my favourite barber shop on Brigade Road. I usually prefer the staid & elderly Mr.Dasappa whom I call ‘Headmaster’ among the bunch of croppers there , even it means waiting for abt an hour for my turn. He carries out the task as some master Gardner , carefully picking up small clumps of hair and cropping them with finesse. Usually hair cutting becomes a byproduct under his tutelage, its the nice & soothing experience that one gets that brings me to him.

So the last time around I had a big & burly gentleman sitting next to me and during the course of our hair cut session we got into a conversation. It turned out that he was a Major in the Army and had just returned from a posting in the North. He spoke of the heroism of our men in Uniform & how they operated in trying circumstances. He said “You know we are fighting a ‘faceless enemy ’ (one amongst the crowd) and usually when we (the army) retaliate we face the flak for violating Human rights or being cruel to the public. Collateral damages are a part of the exercise but nobody understands this , we are the aggressors because we are in Uniform . They get all the sympathy because they are civilians. It dosent matter who started this mess” he quipped with a sigh.

These thoughts echoed in me as I went through a similar experience in the Apartment where I stay recently. The only difference being that there was no insurgency here but the watchman who was supposed to be the guardian ended up being a culprit in an incident where my Car was damaged . I don’t know what the motives were , but this guy tried to force open the petrol tank lid with pieces of stick & plastic when I was out of town for about a week. Circumstantial evidence, a bit of inquiring around & finally the confession of his fellow partner watchman helped me identify this culprit over the next 10 days. Initially I tried talking him out to get the confession (reason) & see whether he was repentant but he chose to remain adamant & in denial mode. Finally after about 2 weeks of warning I decided that this was a matter best left to the Police to decide. This guy continued to work in the appt & I dint want to risk any further incident. At the beginning of this month, returning from work one evening I saw this guy on ‘duty’ in the apartment. I went to him, gently held his hand & asked him to sit in the car saying that I was taking him to the police station. The fellow pretended to oblige initially, after coming towards the car he made a U turn and dashed in dramatic fashion to a flat on the first floor screaming as if a violent mob was behind his back. The heat of the moment took over me and I chased to grab him by the scruff of his neck & drag him to the police station as I had decided to. In the ensuing melee, this guy's shirt got torn as he clung to a door handle & I tried to drag him.

This incident left me as the aggressor and more sinned than the sinner. Worse, the guy who patronized this watchman and under whose cover he wanted to hide took up a strident position subsequently. He started writing lengthy mails questioning the incident , addressing all the association members and taking some moral high ground of being ‘just & humane’ . When I wrote back to cut the crap & bring the guy to the station which I reckoned as an appropriate forum, this vigilante member backed off meekly with the tail behind his legs.

He nonetheless made an effort to pin it up . Whether he got a medal on his chest or a kick on his back dint matter in the end.
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