As I turned my cycle and got on it, I suddenly realized the last thing that I had said to him, Paresh.
Me : Enna njaan poyittu varatte?
It was not the type of tone that I usually use to bid a goodbye. Rather, it was more similar to the tone you use when you talk to a kid very much younger than yourself. This got me thinking.
Me : It was true. I used to talk to him as if he was a child studying in maybe 6th or 7th standard. I think that was the reason that I got a strange feeling whenever he called me ‘mone’. I know that he is very much elder to me but maybe my subconsciousness doesn’t try to accept that fact. The thought that he is a famous film critic or a great person vanishes whenever I go to that home. Even when I view him in that wheelchair, I feel as though an innocent looking kid sitting in it, with a strange appealing smile that lures me closer.
Even as I write these words, I could see his face and the image of him sitting in that wheelchair. To tell you the truth, I even have a sort of a smile on my face, an awkward smile, that just reminded me of the smile Shah Rukh has in the song ‘Haule Haule’ in ‘Rab ne bana di jodi’ in which he takes her to a cinema and as she enjoys the scene in which the hero of the film along with his beauty, fights the ‘bad guys’. Shah Rukh turns to look at her and when he sees her joy, a smile appears on his face. That kind of smile.
Me : I sort of remember the first time that I went to meet him with another friend (not long ago). And as he was talking about something (forgive me, for I do not remember what it was), I replied by saying ‘Aano?’, with a rather exaggerated face, and a childish tone, that I mostly use with my LKG studying little cousin sister. Why do I forget the fact that he is almost forty (I think)? Why do I feel as if I am elder to him? I have to admit that whenever that I see him, I forget that he is a renowned critic. Why? That is still a question which puzzles me.