The Umbrella Girl

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 PMNov (Friends, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

It was nearly a year ago i.e. August 2009. She had come to Udupi for a literary function. Shrisha (Jondi), Madhura Somayaji, Manjunath Bhat and i were there. It was the first time that i was meeting her though i had known her for year then.

I introduced my friends to her and her to them. Saying “hi”to all of them she said, “Nice umbrella,” with bright eyes and a broad smile. It was not my umbrella but of Shilpa Bhadri, though it was with me. I was carrying that umbrella that day, since morning but had not taken much notice of it. I knew i had an umbrella in my hand but i was not aware of its existence. I thought, then, that she had liked the design on the umbrella and so had said, “Nice umbrella.”

During the function she was sitting with a friend of her Dad. The function got over and it was time for disperse. I went to her said, “Bye” and started walking towards the bus stand. I texted her while walking that which i had forgotten to say, “I will be leaving for Delhi soon. Will give you my new number as soon as i get it.” When i got into the bus her reply landed in my inbox. It read, “Sure. It was nice meeting you, your friends and your umbrella.”

It was then that i realized that what she meant when she said, “nice umbrella” was not just the design of it but the entire umbrella. More importantly she had seen umbrella as another being she met that day, like Shrisha, Madhura Somayaji, Manjunath Bhat and me!!!

Just a few days ago, we met again while attending a workshop. I was late for the first session on day on itself. Because i was late i had asked her to ‘reserve’ a seat for me next to hers. When i entered the class and neared her i saw that there was a bag on the chair next to hers. I thought it was hers and before i could ask her about it she picked it up making place for me to sit. As i was landing myself on the seat i asked for formalities sake, “Is anyone here?” and while she was zipping her bag before placing it on the floor, not consciously but very normally and naturally, she said, extending her hand, “Umbrella.” Her umbrella was hanging on one of the arms of the chair.

My mind paused for a while. Yes, she was referring to her umbrella when she answered my question, “Is anyone here?” It reminded me of the incident that took place a year ago when she had said, “It was nice meeting your umbrella.” She saw umbrella as a being and not just as an instrument.

Later in class when Sundar Sarukkai said, “We see more than what our eyes can see,” what else could have i remembered but the umbrella girl and the umbrella?

12 July 2010

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