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The Omniscient Gentleman!

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    As I eased my tired frame into my favourite aisle seat of the Mumbai-Chennai King Fisher Flight, my eyes fell on the distinguished-looking gentleman occupying the Window seat. Sensing some movement close to him, he looked up and smiled at me. Not to be outdone in a department in which I am considered an expert, I flashed at him one of my best smiles and we shook hands. He buried himself almost instantly into a well known newspaper and became dead to the world. He waved away everything that came his way, toffees, snacks and the synthetic smiles of the air-hostess as he was gobbling up the contents of the paper.

    I was awfully impressed to say the least by this sight. My reading of newspapers is normally cursory except when it comes to items like tantrums faced by Shilpa Shetty or the progress in Aishwarya/Abhishek nuptial preparations. That someone could read a newspaper line by line left me speechless and I waited for him to finish his reading. It was when the pilot announced flight details and expressed the hope that we were enjoying the flight that the man folded the newspaper and put it in the pouch in front of him. I was very eager to strike a conversation with this newspaper freak but he did not seem interested. But people who know me would tell you how persevering I can be and so I managed to strike a conversation with him. Immediately I realized that it was like striking a match stick. All I asked him was if there was anything mention-worthy in the newspaper and his eyes flared as he held Bush responsible for all the woes of the world. The choicest epithets that he used to describe Bush were something that I had never heard before. He expressed a doubt if Kofi Annan’s successor would measure up to the stature of his predecessor. He felt that Kalam’s speeches though no doubt thought provoking have become a bit repetitive. On Oscar Awards, he predicted that it would be a close fight between Dream girls and Babel. Ganguly’s 98 did not inspire him in the first one-dayer with West Indies which he described as Sourav’s swan song!

    As he went on and on, I sat rooted to my seat as I felt utterly humiliated by the extent of in-depth knowledge that he seemed to have on almost all subjects of the universe. Listening to him, I felt as impressed as my dad would have been when he listened to the Tryst with Destiny speech of Jawaharlal Nehru on the assassination of Gandhiji! I could not resist introducing myself to a man who knew everything! So I started the process with a ‘You live in Chennai?’ to which I received a crisp affirmative. Which part of Chennai was my next query which he didn’t find difficult to answer. Adyar, he said. I wanted him to know that he had illustrious company there and said ‘I live there too’.

    As the pilot started the landing manoeuvres, I persisted with a ‘Where at Adyar?’ Kasturba Nagar Second cross , he replied as he looked out of the window to see if he could sight his locality. My excitement was rising as I informed him that I lived there too! Oh, was all he had to say in reply to that piece of information. “Where’s your house there?’ was my next question. My heart jumped out of my mouth when he said that he lived in Zircon Towers, Flat 4 C. ‘I live in Zircon Towers. Flat 3A’ I informed him in such an excited tone that everyone in the aircraft turned towards me! To know that such a well informed gentleman was my neighbour took my breath away.

    I was not surprised that he did not know me or heard of me as I realized that his immediate neighbourhood could hardly be of any concern to him. I consoled myself saying that if he got weighed down with news of his co-tenants and the like, he would probably be thinking that Bush was something that grew in the forests and Oscar a terrorist outfit! These gentlemen apparently found a thorough knowledge of the American President a more worthwhile exercise than knowing the existence of their nameless neighbours!
     
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  2. Manjureddy

    Manjureddy Gold IL'ite

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    How true Cheeniya ! We never see what is right under our nose, but can talk thirteen to a dozen about the canals on Mars ! Long sight !

    :2thumbsup:
    Manjula
     
  3. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Cheeiya,
    I likedyour narrationvery well...i tooalmost jumped up in excitement with u , when u realised he was ur neighbor...but isnt ii sad that , wedont know ourneighbors by sight too andhe seemed disinterestedafterwards also!

    I feel here i must share something extraordinary , which happened 2 weeks ago. I was walking to my station, and my nieghbor with his 2 kids passed by...of course since it was drizzling and on a sunday morning at 10, no one is out, i also did not notice him. He was cycling with his 2 little ones slowly...the ittle one noticed me and i too looked at him and thought , he looked familiar(they r germans!) and i just smiled and walked by. But within the next sec ,this neighbor turned around and came after me and wished me and said sorry he did not notice! His son had mentioned that the neighbor was going and he felt it his duty to come and wish me....wow that left me stunned!
    here the culture is , you have to wish ur neighbors, whether u know them or not...that way you acknowledge the presence of one another as fellow human beings.....i really loved this concept, but when i tried to smile at my sister's neighbors in her apartment, they all thought i was a crack pot or something , since they dont know my sister! What a difference.....
    A German neighbor, acknowledging his new Indian neighbor( we r in this house since 1 year only!):yes:
     
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  4. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    welcome sri,
    all these ladies were in wonder where i was getting nice articles from now they have the horse so they wont need another to rpt....regards sunkan
     
  5. cheer

    cheer Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniya,

    Good one, really now a days people know enerything abt world, abt hollywood/bollywood but don't know abt neighbour. That's a pity.
     
  6. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri,
    This incident happened last sunday.
    My co-sister lives 2 buildings away from our apartments.
    Last sunday, when my daughter came to my house, she said that she saw an ambulance standing in her aunt's house and asked me if all was well. So I became anxious & phoned up my co-sister. She said that she was fine and entertaining some visitors.
    After 2 hrs, she phoned me up to say that the ambulance had come, bringing the dead body of her opposite flat neighbour who was hospitalised in the morning due to a heart attack and was dead at 3 P M. The body was brought and before my co-sister went out & enquired, why an ambulance had come, the body was removed and everything was over !
    That she was not aware of a death in her opposite flat, made her feel guilty very much !
    Whether we practise "Love thy neighbour" or not,
    she was upset that she failed to pay her respects and "see off her (ex) neighbour" !
    We are more concerned about news about Abhi-Ash's new villa, the mysterious death of Bob Woolmer, but the death of our next-door neighbour goes unnoticed !
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
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  7. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra
    Our modern life stlye has made all of us a kind of cocoon, insulated from all the happenings around us. It is indeed sad.
    Just a week back, as I was walking along Marina in the early morning, a crow got hit by a speeding car and died an instant death. Within a second thousands of crows from the neighbourhood arrived there and caw-cawed their hearts out. To say I felt touched would be an understatement. We as humans have to learn a lot from other living beings.
    Sri
     
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  8. chitrajan

    chitrajan Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Sri,

    This is a phenomenon here in the Gulf region - people especially working women have no time thanks to the traffic jams and if it is invading India also, I can very well imagine the plight of the people there.

    Also the intrusion of TV and internet is opening up new worlds to people and therefore they may not require the real people.:icon_frown:
     
  9. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cheeniya,

    You have touched upon one more characteristics of the modern day living. My sadistic egoism is pacified that this lifestyle has spread to the dwellers of India too:evil:........and not a phenomena existing in the west only...which was the case till the recent globalisation.

    L, Kamla

    PS: The other better me hastens to add that there are exceptions everywhere...refer Sudha's post....
     
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  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chitra
    As you say numerous factors are forcing the humans distance themselves from each other and it doesn't augur well for the human race. Quite often, we see in newspapers that housewives staying alone at home during office hours in posh multistoried complexes getting murdered for gain in broad daylight! And the murder gets noticed only when the children come home from schools.
    If there is a function at the flat below, we ascertain from our housemaids "Keezh veetla enna visesham?"
    If this is the state of affairs in Chennai, I can imagine how it will be at your place!
    I am really keen to take a trip down memory lane when as a school boy I used to live in a colony of ten families at Triplicane. Those were the days of fun, camaraderie and jollity which I shall never have again!
    Sri
     
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