The Elves n the Shoemaker

It was a long time ago, in the city of angels that this soul found peace and rested one night without having to worry about the next day’s meal. It was a long time ago, that in the city of angels, time stood still as if all was planned by God to show the sinned mortals of the existence of goodness in the world. It was a long time ago, that this small story happened in the streets of Richmond, Bangalore.

* * * * *

The bus 138, screeched on its brakes to a halt. It seemed like the bus was crying out in pain, due to the overburdening weight of the morning passengers who held on to anything that they could get their hands on. In between women who squeezed their way into the front and men who struggled to get out of the rear, was Amitha. With an unknown language and strangers for company; unsure of where to get off, her mind was paralyzed with thoughts that took momentary control.

It was a common sight to see. Men and women straining their necks in awkward heights to see if it was time to start wriggling their way through the bus. What was more common was the sight of them reminding the conductors of the change they are due to get. Amitha, however thought it to be too tedious a process to pass the ticket along and wait for her change.

And so she got off the bus, cursing herself for waking up late. And more so for leaving the govt of Karnataka with 3 rupees more than what it should own. She was pre occupied. She was late. Her hair was messed up anyway. Pleasant things didn’t remind themselves in her paralyzed mind. She continued to walk the streets of Richmond, completely unaware of other pre occupied minds.

* * * * *

The bus 138, screeched on its brakes to a halt. It seemed like the bus was yelling out in happiness about reaching 30 seconds too early than yesterday. It was like it set a new record during the most busy morning hour. In between women who tried to keep their make up intact, n men who held their grip firmly on the bus bars, was Atul. Familiar roads, familiar foot board, n familiar faces kept his zest alive. Completely at peace with a typical morning he got off the bus n waited for it to cross.

* * * *

Alongside the pavement, was Sukumar - a soul that had never once looked at the sky. He possessed a rug, a cloth, some polish and a basin. For years he had watched the legs walk past. In the years that followed, he had watched those feet grow. For many days he had felt those shoes; polished them n longed for them. But God had his reasons right, his drama planned and so he sat, longing for long. And then came the day, when he was too old to continue the routine. The day still dawned, n those legs still walked past. But his hands were faint, withered n too weak to hold its own weight. He sat there, with just his rug and his basin. People walked by Sukumar, busy with their own business. Cars zoomed past, with men nonchalantly throwing out crushed cartons or used tissues.

Atul stopped suddenly. He sat down perched on his heel, his hands busy digging into his wallet. He reached out to a hundred rupee note, handed it to Sukumar Thaathaa ; stroked him on his back, spent a few minutes; shared some good humour n as he got up to leave, he yelled out jus so Sukumar heard him right "First month salary Thaathaa....! That’s where it came from ".

Atul was walking just a few steps ahead of Amitha. She hadn’t noticed him, or him or HIM. Until then….


"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence" - Ansel Adams

In this space you will find images and words. It is upto you to weave 'em together and see what I see.