An Interesting Person
Essay : 01
I met Mr. Vijay when we moved into our new house. He was our next door neighbor. Mr. Vijay was an elderly man who lived alone. He had a part-time domestic servant who came daily to cook and wash for him.
Mr. Vijay was a very sociable and amiable man. He was in his mid-seventies when I first came to know him. He was of slight built and was slightly hunchbacked. His eyesight was bad and he was almost blind without the aid of his thick glasses.
I became fast friends with this old man. For one thing, Mr. Vijay was a bookworm. He loved reading and spent most of his time poring over books, magazines and newspapers. He was a truly erudite person. He was inquisitive by nature and he would read on just about any topic. This made him a great conversationalist as he could speak on just about any subject under the sun.
Mr. Vijay had bought the house next to ours when he retired a few years previously. It was rumored that Mr. Vijay was very wealthy but he was never spending money unnecessarily and his wants were frugal. Indeed, it seemed that Mr. Vijay spent most of his money o books and other printed matters.
I enjoyed chatting with Mr. Vijay and we would often discuss on various interesting topics. I was a bookworm as well (and I still am) and we had similar inclinations towards the subjects we read. We would spend hours talking about history, science, politics and other subjects of mutual interest.
Three years ago, Mr. Vijay died at the age of seventy-nine. He bequeathed all the books which he had in his personal library to me. Believe it or not, Mr. Vijay had more than six thousand books in his library! My father converted one of our rooms into a library to house all the books Mr. Vijay left me.
I feel sad that Mr. Vijay is no longer around. I have yet to find someone with whom I can converse as I had with that learned old man.
Essay : 02
I have come across all kinds of people in various places that I have been to. However, one person whom I found very interesting was a Tibetan shopkeeper in the hills of Mussoorie.
I wanted to buy some junk jewellery for myself and my friends back in Delhi – incidently, this was my first trip of Mussoorie and I was keen to take back some tokens for my friends. I asked the local people about the best place to find junk jewellery and they told me to go to the Mall where I would find a small dingy shop.
They said that the smallest shop in the Mall belonged to a Tibetan man and he would be the best person to buy the jewellery from. I was told that he opens his shop at 6.00 am and shuts it down by 5.00 pm – now that really did seem like an odd time for a shop to open and close down.
However, early next morning I set out from my hotel to look for this shop with unusual working hours. I almost missed it when I walked down the Mall because it was dark and dingy. There was an old man sitting outside the shop.
I entered the shop and the old man pushed me aside. He was, very clearly, the owner of the shop. Dressed in typical Tibetan attire, he looked like a character out of a museum. Very reluctantly, he got up and stood behind the counter. I asked him for some rings. He replied very rudely – “I don’t sell rings, buy anything else, can’t you see all these things displayed here”.
I looked around me. There were bangles, lockets, necklaces and other trinkets that I had never seen before. They had bizzare designs and most unusual colour combinations.
His collection was indeed striking. He had displayed them very shabbily and looked most disinterested in selling them. On asking about the prices of his jewellery, I was shocked. He was so reasonable that I couldn’t believe my ears.
I bought practically the whole collection of jewellery. He was extremely sincere, which is what I realized because he did not cheat me, he was honest about what he made, he told me not to buy two bangles because they would break. Never have I come across a shopkeeper who was as honest and sincere as this 77 year old in Mussoorie.