Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Man In Technicolor

It was a mild winter evening. The temperature still in two digits with winds of no particular speed to talk about. Yet the night sky was dark. I sat in the porch of my new home. My rudimentary attempts at astronomy met with a resolute black silence from up above. An involuntary chill passed through as I remembered that home viewing last month. I zipped my jacket and hugged myself to stop the shivering that coursed through my body.

It all happened suddenly. The relocation and the hunt for a new home, we were at our wits end. Sometimes the hall was too small or the balcony too big. Others the rooms were dull or the kitchen too cluttered. I kept telling myself that there are no perfect houses. Still there was something in me that stopped me from compromising on my whims about a beautiful home. I had spent more than decade in cramped hostel rooms, shared accommodations, and dingy 1BHK’s. I did not find a need to reconcile myself to a deficit house. I wanted it all. Oh Dear! After all the living conditions I have been in, don’t you dare call me greedy!

The house hunting is the most effective way of knowing a city. There we were at the northern most part of the city at 11 am and at the south east by 12:15pm.We juggled between buses, trains and walking. In those days, I said heartfelt thanks to people who made Google maps and to the ones who made it available on the hand phones. The saga seemed non-ending. I knew the better half was reaching his breaking point. That was when we went to see this beautiful house. From the photos, it was breathtakingly fresh and bright. Kitchen had ample space. The balcony extended over the bedrooms that were in no means of moderate dimensions. As a cherry on the pie, there was a study facing a massive Victorian window .It came with glass topped table and chair. I could almost imagine myself sitting there and writing blogs.

I skipped hopped my way to the viewing. We were waiting for the house agent to let us when he came walking towards us. Caucasian male, 5’ 7 , striking blue eyes, graying hair, plump, well in to his retirement and in total of a pleasant demeanor. He smiled us and asked,” House viewing?” We nodded our heads in unison. He had a small conversation with my husband as I hung about in the background. On hearing about the rent he said,”Bahoot mehhangha hain!” with a typical white-man accent.

“Wow, you speak good Hindi for a non-Indian!” I exclaimed unable to hide my joy. He smiled,”Was in India in the 80’s.Bombay it was and then Nagpur for a while. Used to work there.Tamatar kitne ka hain? Aur yeah pyaaj? I still remember there were no color TV’s. Had a black and white one. Oh those were the days!” he recollected, “Good luck to you guys on home hunting! See you soon!” He smiled affectionately.
Copyright , Kristin Jack
We liked the house and were eager to do the necessary formalities. We were talking to the agent and walking out of the house when we saw a weathered flyer on the side of the lift. It piqued my curiosity. It ran as follows.
“Man Missing. Since Feb 27th 1999 5pm.” 
Along with the writing was a grainy black and white picture. And we had just seen the man in the picture in color, Technicolor !!!

P: S: Our apartment’s cleaner Allan is the inspiration. He had been in India of the 80’s and is quite chatty about those times.


  1. I actually read through twice to confirm if it was fiction indeed or if I was missing something - brilliant piece of work.

    Had a ball reading it.

    Cheers :)

    1. Hey AS, good to know you liked it.Was a bit apprehensive about this one..

  2. Loved this one!!!! And this ALLAN seems to be a fun dude!!!

    1. Thank you dear.Oh! he is a very charming fellow.