The woman must have been in her late thirties or early forties. Often I had seen her in the locality walking in the colony as if either she is coming from or going to visit some resident of the colony. She was dressed simply in a cheap cotton sari worn meticulously.It was towards the end of the day, twilight zone, you can say. She stood still and kept staring in one direction. I thought she was looking at me or was it my pet dog she found interesting. After a while it became a bit uneasy for both rather all three, dog included.She asked me name of the dog and second question almost had me clean bowled. Do you come here every evening? I answered politely it depends on the mood of my pet which direction he wants to head for his Operation S-2 (sniffing and stroll) Next question appeared completely innocent or so I thought. In seconds, I had thought a volley of curious questions in my mind. But I promptly brushed them aside with a bigger mop than was necessary.
Somewhere I had read that when somebody courteously asks you ‘How are you?’ The reply also is same i.e. how are you? In
though we have half a dozen answers to this simple nicety e.g. quite well, fine, very fine, OK, good, very well and not bad etc. India
So when she asked me about my off day I asked her in return when was her off day. She meaningfully and rather reassuringly replied “I am here almost daily during this time of the day, whenever you call me it’s my off day and I’m poor so remember my charges are reasonable”
P.S. I was sad. No body chooses this, willingly or out of hobby. Just wondering, poor thing ! she must have helplessly suffered thousand deaths before uttering this one sentence to a complete stranger.