I have always had a very difficult time in convincing people. It’s like the wolf and the shepherd story. That was a long time ago, but the character is like gravity. It’s inevitable. And also, the ‘Hutch dog’. So when I roam around one fine morning in the loony-bin attire, people stop and look. It’s like the opposite of the Hutch dog. And like a moving traffic signal.
This costume cost me a thousand bucks to rent. I told the rental guy, who looks like an antique himself, that I’m working on a film project with a fantastic love story between a nurse and a patient. Like the opposite of ‘The Cuckoo’s Nest’. Like ‘The English Patient’. Also touted to be the potential Oscar winner. I left the shop, leaving the guy practising his acceptance speech. Like that show host from ‘Slumdog millionaire’.
Poor thing, didn’t even bother to enquire about the nurse’s costume.
Now about this costume that I’m wearing. It’s one of those things with the looped sleeves. So, the hands aren’t free. The only thing I’m missing now is a mask. Like those scary Halloween types. That would have been something. But the downside is when it begins to itch. Especially the ones in the back. You have no other option but to scratch the paint off the wall.
So, when I’m doing that with the lamp post, people stop and look. It’s more of a stare now. Psyche is a funny thing. It also sounds funny. But the point is, I don’t mean any harm. Most of them just pretend to not notice my presence. But it’s funny when some of them look at me in a different way. It’s cooked with annoyance, with a pinch of fear and a seasoning of disgust. Here I am, sitting on this park bench all alone, and people are judging me, and it’s funny.
I’m trying hard not to laugh. But I lose it when I get up and one of them backs off in fright. My walk’s changed. It’s more of a strut now. It’s the royal procession. It even has a police vehicle in tow. It goes on uninterrupted for a while. I guess the problem is uncertainty. It feels good though, now that we also have the paparazzi. We are now on Page 11. By afternoon, we should have progressed to Page 4.
And soon enough, here comes the van. It’s hunting time. But I don’t want to run. Show’s over. Time to go home. But they are not happy with the end. So they circle me and wait for the pounce. I offer no resistance. Here comes the worst prestige ever. It’s time to act ashamed. They let me go in the end. All said and done, with a fair amount of lethal warnings. I go back home.
It was a very hot and sunny day. And a very good day. Priorities are important. One down in the bucket list. Many more to go.
Photography By: Pranavi Kanduri