We think that no one has got time and only God has got time to watch us.
No, that is not the reality. Neighbours, society, relatives, colleagues – everyone is watching us and curious to know what is going on in our life.
One nation is watching other nations, one animal is watching other animals, King Fisher is watching that fish in the pond (In India, King Fisher sits on the tarmac of airports watching other planes fly), Tom cat is watching what Jerry mouse is doing, school teachers are watching which student is weak and would potentially spoil the name of their school by failing in board exams……
Some people like me got all the time in the world to watch. We gave a sugar coated word for it, ‘Observing’.
Coming back to ‘watching’, I had gone to meet a person who repairs guitars. His workshop is in his house. He is working in a shop and as a part time job or hobby, he repairs guitars. Since I don’t know his house or that locality very well, he asked me to ask anyone for this Veterinary hospital near his house and once I reached there, he would come and pick me, so I should give him a call.
He is a funny guy. He hardly talks. I mean, he is so reserved and quiet. To see him smile is like me seeing a full moon, only once in a while.
I reached where he had told to, little late than the time we fixed for the meeting. Reaching there, I thought not to call him and bother him by asking him to come and pick me.
So I asked one person where this guy who repairs guitar is staying. He showed me a street and told he is somewhere inside there. I entered the street and walked and I had no clue where his house was. Then I asked another person and she actually came with me to show his house and made sure I saw his workshop and met him.
Seeing me, this Guitar Doctor (I now call him like that. Even then he doesn’t smile…..)asked , how I found his place. I told him “Mr….. You are very famous here. Once nice cute old lady showed me your house”.
Hearing this he looked surprised and told me, “No one knows me here. I don’t talk to anyone”.
So I told him “No wonder everyone knows you. You don’t mingle with anyone and that is why people are watching your every move. Be careful Dr ”.
Then I saw a smile on his face. Thank God!
This reminded me of something my landlady told me long ago. “Francis, our neighbours are saying that you very good”. I asked,” how come? They don’t know me. I don’t smile at anyone. I don’t talk to anyone”.
For that, she told that I am very quiet and disciplined.
I did not correct her that time. I thought …..”They should have asked my friends and relatives about me. Then their opinion about me would have changed”.
Yes… I was quiet because I was Jobless, sleeping all the time, guitar amplifier was not working and I had a headphone.
Yes, I am very disciplined. Morning 7am I go out to have breakfast, 12:30 pm I go out to have lunch and at 7:30, I go out to have dinner. I really don’t see any discipline in any other thing.
Anyway, since I have this good reputation (according to her), I made it a point to smile and talk to neighbours – if I saw them near their gate.
Soon I started smiling, said “hello” and “Good morning”. Neighbours also reciprocated….
By now, they know that I am a Guitar teacher, I practice all day, I eat beef, I have a drink in the evening and my family is in Cochin.
Things were going fine for a couple of months till I bought a new guitar amplifier and I started to make some noise and the number of students coming to my place increased because they parked their cars and 2 wheelers in front of neighbour’s gate!
But they still show/pretend they really like me, and I still smile whenever I see them. Peaceful easy feeling.
There is one house in our street where a mother and daughter stay. Mother always asks me whether I had breakfast if she sees me in the morning. If she sees me at noon, she would ask whether I had lunch. No, Evening I have never seen them out of their house. So she never got a chance to ask whether I had dinner.
One day I on my usual trip to the restaurant for breakfast, I saw this mother and daughter outside their house. I stopped to say hello. Mother asked her usual question and I gave her my usual reply. When I was about to walk, the daughter said,”I hear you play violin every day. You play Violin very well”.