• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 04
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The man who had no neighbours

‘No, I’m not a Hindoo,’ he said as he explained the picture on the bedroom wall and answered the question asked by the stranger who wanted to spend the night in his house, and then added, ‘and I am neither a farmer.’ Well, the house in the background too isn’t mine, he thought, but decided not to mention this. After all, if he started counting everything that wasn’t related to him, it would also mean the woman standing beside him, the pitch-fork, his clothes and even his stern and piercing look. Nothing was his and he knew this.

The stranger went on, ‘That weapon you’re holding is what the Hindoo Gods have in their hands. I can say this as I’ve seen plenty of pictures of these Gods.’ The stranger paused and then added, ‘And Goddesses.’

He remained silent for some time and then said, ‘Do I look like one those Gods in those pictures?’

‘The expression is quite like them,’ replied the stranger, ‘but I haven’t seen any of them as bald as you are.’

‘What’s the weapon called?’

‘It has a tri which is three and…’ the stranger paused as if squeezing the rest of the word out of some fold of his brain, ‘I think it was drool. No. it was school. Nah, can’t be that. Was something that rhymed with a fool.’

‘It is ok,’ he said, ‘it is enough to know that I resemble a Hindoo God.’

‘You also resemble someone who tried to molest my wife,’ began the stranger and he put his left foot on the rim of the bed on which he sat. The bed was next to the wall and he knew he couldn’t get off the other side.


The man who had no neighbours

This was his house and his own bedroom where they sat. The stranger must be asked to stop intimidating him, he thought but as usual he was unable to. He couldn’t smile because the stern expression never allowed him to. He was trapped in an expression that wasn’t his real self.

The stranger calmly opened his bag, took out a diary and showed him the picture of his wife. Yes, it was the same woman. He remembered having asked her after the photo-shoot, ‘I live alone with no neighbourhood and feel lonely. You’re a nice person with a loving face. Can we meet again?’

‘You’re a lecherous man,’ she had hissed before walking away.

‘I didn’t molest her,’ he said, ‘I only asked if we could meet again.’

The stranger seemed not to hear him and pulled out the top metallic part of the pitchfork that he asked him to hold with the pointed end between the chin and his neck.

He looked up but the stranger pulled his head down in anger and the pointed end pierced his throat coming out the other end.

The stranger shouted, ‘Anne, come on in. This house is ours now.’