Monday

Sleepless in Bombay!

Sadness, heavy hearted, blessed, are some of the words I have chosen to describe the feelings that I experienced last

The woman's name is Kunda. She stands approximately 5'5" tall in her early fifties with a light brown complexion. I cannot say whether Kunda is a Maharashtrian or a South Indian by her features, coupled with the way she dresses, and the pronunciation of her name resembles that of a local, perhaps from Ambernath location. Her cheeks are round and her dark eyes tell a story that only she can tell, and her beauty is ubiquitous.

I didn't notice her until the weather became rainy ( Sept Oct last year) , Kunda wore a nice brown sari, with a black torn umbrella draped above her head, with water streaming through the umbrella on her. She stood silently taking the protection of the shop frontage and her torn umbrella

Absorbed in her own thoughts I've often seen her chattering to herself. I had never heard her utter a curse word and perhaps this made her more approachable for me.

With bags draped over her shoulder, which I assume are holding all her worldly possessions, she travels through the locality. She hauls a white plastic bag, a narrow green and a yellow one, and a beaten down tan bag. Wherever she is situated, I can look around and find her possessions, which are never quite out of her sight.

Because she is a nice-looking woman, I have often wondered what brought her to this existence. It isn't something I feel I have the right to ask. At times, she appears self-assured, but at other times, she is unapproachable.

I decided that on Diwali day I will get Kunda a nice salwar kameez and a brand new umbrella for the next rains. I put the new things in a nice hand bag and kept it on the side of her bags, while she was looking the other way, and quickly ducked into my car. The driver was puzzled but didn’t ask too many questions, while I watched furtively from the side view mirror if she was going to pick the bag and explore.

Kunda did not touch that bag, and I was getting late after 10mins of waiting, decided to leave. In the evening on my way back she was still sitting where I saw her in the morning and the bag was closer to her feet now. I dropped Rs 10/- in her lap, we exchanged eye contact and I moved onwards

The next time I saw Kunda, was a month later. I was dropping some stuff for her, hair brush and deo’s and a little money, when she looked at me with no recognition. I felt sad not because she did not recognize me, but because I think I probably know now why she is on the streets, she does not have any memory.

She has either walked out of her house one day and did not know how to trace back home or somebody has abandoned her on the street and did not want a liability.
She is homeless. Since that day I do my bit in looking after her, I get her a meal a day, clothes, shampoo and toiletries. I tried seeking the help of the local police to find her a home but no help there. Hopefully we will be able to place her in the Bandra home for the old with upkeep to be paid for.

14 comments:

ALLEX said...

Thats g8 feelings..... very few in life ever think like that...

melinda said...

Mee! Can I give you a hug:-)!

Neela said...

thank god for people like you ....

Ajeya said...

really thoughtful

Mike said...

Hey, indeed a lovely gesture. Very proud of you

Jim said...

Awesome! Don't mean to sound pompous, but we finally have started the school for those kids and it is a joy:)

suzanna said...

i've often thought of doing things like this, but do it in my head while passing the homeless. love you for having done it. keep us posted on her?

sanjiv said...

Keeping fingers crossed on the bandra home.Let me know if you need any help?

gita said...

very touching. hope she finds her berth.

sabith khan said...

Hi mee

Remember a similar woman near my parents home (years ago when i lived with my parents)...my mom tried to help her with food, clothes etc.. also tried to get her admitted to NIMHANS, but no luck...she was mentally ill to top it all...

Its sad that we dont have the time, space or money to help such people in the rat race that we choose to participate in...and the state doesnt help much either. Survival of the fittest ?? I think its survival of the meanest amongst us unfortunately....but with people like you and my mom around; there is hope !

Bhavana said...

there are soooo many people like Kunda and perhaps many more like Mee....but the thing is to activate the mee in us......jus a little step goes a long way.

Ashish said...

Mankind is forgetting its kindness somewhere, this is a gold wake upo call for me.

subhas said...

Wow, presumably it is a true story. have u tried conceiving these kind of stories as fiction? you should give it a shot - good luck

subhas said...

& I just love that name, Kunda' really out from a classic character out of a RK N book