Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The mysterious old man

When I left for work this morning, an old man was standing outside my house. He smiled as I walked past and asked me where I was going.

"Office"
"And where is that?"
"Connaught Place"

Normally, most of my neighbours are strangers to me -- even if they happen to be residents of the same block of flats.

I am one of a breed of laptop-loving asocial beings, for whom the four walls of a house are like cocoons spewing forth humans, only to accept them back when they return from office.

But this stranger, who seemed like a harmless little man in his seventies, continued to address me as if I were a long-lost friend.

Suddenly, he raised his right arm in the air as if to strike me and started mouthing obscenities.

Taken aback, I smiled, took a few steps back and then continued on my way. As I reached the colony gate, I looked back and saw the old man still mumbling, his right arm still outstretched in the air, a frailer version of the Statue of Liberty.

I am not sure what was wrong with him. Perhaps, he is suffering from Alzheimer's. Maybe he mistook me for some former office subordinate who had irritated him.

Whatever the reason, I wondered why no one from his family was near him, why he was left free to prey on unsuspecting visitors, and did he even have a semblance of normal life?

I am not sure I want to know. The next time I meet him, I may not stop to chat. Will you?

(For more snippets from Toe Knee's life, keep reading his blog)

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