This word, this name is placed in my memory with an audio file. Voice of my neighbor Mr. Sumit Talwar calling his wife loud and..sounding...harsh. Though, Shyama was often heard laughing and seen standing on a balcony smiling. Few neighbors residing close were amazed by such contrasting voices. One thing was sure that she was happy and everyone was unable to decipher Mr. Talwar’s expressions and actions to say that A 'muscleman', his every action and word was like a semi-slow motion and surprisingly delicate considering his heavyweight frame. Mr. Talwar’s first impression to many was ignorant and rude. Almost zero social circle, very poor attendance in festive or social gatherings, almost no facial expressions like Rahul Dravid batting on the Fourth Boring day of Cricket test match heading towards a Draw.
Yesterday was like any other day. Then I heard a blast. It was like a Bomb blast. But bomb blasts were ‘far away’ from majority of India. People rushed (or many looked) outside to expect something thrilling to change their ordinary day.
Half the house of Talwars was on fire. The cooking gas cylinder burst while Shyama was preparing food in the kitchen. Besides, Sumit was badly injured. Burnt part of his formal office clothes sticking to his body. Inert and burnt Shyama was in his hands. I don’t know about the degrees of burns but her body was a black sticky mess.
I called 101 (Fire Service) for a Fire Brigade. They told me that someone already informed them and the fire brigade is on it's way.
Sumit was crying and shouting random things. He was doing everything he never did or probably he never showed anyone except Shyama. He was repeatedly kissing her, talking to her. His trademark slow motions vanished as he jumped, bumped and ran, moved like a 'Black Cat' Commonado. His car was in a service station so he ran to all the houses in colony and asked for Help or Car to rush to Hospital but before anyone could respond he moved to next house as if he was waiting for that person’s reply for quite some time.
Few moments later the Talwars were rushed to Hospital. Fire brigade extinguished the fire. Humming sound of crowd taking, asking, calling, sharing assumptions and framed facts.
Mr. Sumit taught me (and maybe few other neighbours) a lesson....for rest of my life. Everything differs from person to person. Since then I never generalize a person by knowing some of his/her characteristics. As every individual's personality has so many aspects according to that person's upbringing, interests, profession, etc which are hidden from almost everyone. We (majority) have several stereotyped standards and if someone is not good in those specific things....we tag him/her with negative adjectives like rude, ignorant, selfish, bad, without knowing so many things about that individual.
Author notes -
*) - Rahul Dravid is one of the most experienced cricketers in the Indian national cricket team, of which he has been a regular member since 1996. Don't ask me what is cricket...cousin of Baseball.
*) - The National Security Guard is a Special Response Unit in India that has primarily been utilized for counter-terrorism activities. The NSG members are also known as Black Cat Commandos.
*) - For Fire Service and related emergencies dial 101 (in India).