Thursday, January 14, 2010

The day I shut the door.

This is probably one of those inexplicable incidents which happen to people every other day in their lives. Some you forget, and some you don't. Often, we end up forgetting certain things because they tend to rankle. This happened to me yesterday and I still cannot figure out what bothers me so.
I was walking home in the afternoon when I realized that I had left my door key in the house before leaving that morning. I prayed that there would be someone at home or I would be locked out . Being tired, I wanted to crash for a while as I had a birthday invitation that evening. Subject to the infuriating bad luck which sweeps down on the already downtrodden, I reached my house and found the front door locked. Desperate to enter my apartment, I wondered how the detectives in the novels unlocked doors with hairpins. It was then that I went looking for a locksmith.
He was sitting on the pavement, draped in a shabby grey shawl. His feet looked tired and old. He was sitting on the pavement, staring vacantly at the feet of the countless people who passed him by. I went up to him and explained my dilemma. The old man came with me and inspected the lock on my front door. Within a few minutes, the new key was ready and I entered my house. He was still gathering up all the tools of his trade when I paid him. I got through the front door and was about to shut it when I realized that this tired old man was still on my threshold picking up his things. For some strange reason that I cannot yet fathom, closing the door on his face somehow became a task of immeasurable cruelty to me. I was unable to shut the door on his face. Awkwardly, I peered at him and asked him if everything was fine, and he simply nodded , shuffling around. When I realized that I could not stand at my door staring at him without seeming weird, did I shut the door on his face.
While I was filled with extreme relief at being able to enter my house once again, I could not rid myself of the feeling of guilt at the fact that I had shut the door on the face of the old man who had provided me with the key to my own home.


Reeti said...

Stunning piece. Very moving :)

Rudrani said...


the soliloquist said...

I just stumbled upon your blog. I didn't know you had finally started blogging. :)
Anyway, I know this feeling. Lovely post.

Rudrani said...

Now you can stop finally stop grumbling about my blog-absence.