Social Sciences and Humanity Studies Academic Blog

My Hostel Guard and the Apple

Posted in My life by Shekhar on May 6, 2008

He is in 4th decade of his life. He just sits on the lamb chair at one side of the boy’s hostel gate with an old radio in his hand which doesn’t sound much clear. Hundreds of students pass through him stepping down his shadow that elongates along the path but nobody cares him and neither does he. He just waits for last date of the month when he will get his salary and nothing more. Everybody knows his salary is not enough to buy his daily match box and match stick. Before to go for a tea in the near by shop he has to think twice and seek for somebody who can sponsor him Rs five for a cup of tea. He drinks it and make up his mind to quench his thirst for one week onward by the single cup of the tea since he knows he is not going to see the man again in that shop.

Last week I knocked his door. He opened the door late and showed his dizzy and wet face. I came to know he was suffering for fever. I just went to the shop and bought some cetamol tablets for him and gave him. I sat near him and talked for a while. He said he has to walk 4 hour a day. In the winter it was fine but since the summer was near so might be he couldn’t bear the scorching heat of sun on his way to university and his village and caught fever. After that he was feeling asleep and I went to my room.

A year ago I had noted in my diary a statement that goes like this: “Do not keep the alabaster box of your love and friendship sealed up until your friends are dead. Fill their life with sweetness”. Sometime it isn’t easy to see the things going on in front of you even though it has nothing to do with. You are helpless. It is not that I want to help my hostel guard by giving him money or anything like that. I just want to support him. In fact I wish he realizes that there are many people like him and even worse than his. I just want to support his confidence and resistive power towards his daily encounters without making him feel I am doing for him individually. Though he is at the age of my father but I can’t show him respect like I do my dad. I am afraid if I call him like I do to my dad, somebody might hear it and I will start feeling myself inferior to the one who heard that.

It is not the first time I feel a kind of fear without any guinine reason. Whenever I try to ordain my self by the natural law of hesitation and embarrass, I am defeated one way or other. For example I had learned once that smile is a curved line that makes all the things straight. Since then I determined myself I will not step behind to widen my lips to my friends and those I encountered in my past even when I will be on the way. But the things really didn’t work out. Initially most of them reflected their smile but later they knowingly ignored my welcome. I was frustrated and embarrassed for sometime and I was in a search of safe passage to express my kindliness and carefulness to my knower. I just picked up my pen and started writing about the bitter experiences and pros and cons I had garnered. When they saw my name and read article published in the newspaper then I was welcomed warmly by my friends and brother. I can easily share my feeling and comment on daily happenings as I saw them.

Last weekend before going to Banepa, a nearby market I asked him if I can bring anything to him though he knew I hadn’t so much money in my pocket. He just laughed and turned on his radio to track his concentration away from my forthright request though he knew that I know the radio doesn’t sound clear. I just went near him and gave him my apple that I usually carry when I step out of hostel gate for tiffin. He readily accepted it and started chewing with his wide jaws. But he couldn’t laugh like earlier at that time and I could see he had not enough courage to withstand my presence near him so I maintained some distance to him and pretended to read the newspaper which was outdated I knew later. Then I just threw my short view through the hole of the newspaper at his face and I saw the real smile on his face which I was dying for and which was perfectly thankful to me.

Shekhar KC

Bachelor in Media Studies

School Of arts

Kathmand University

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