The Angry Old Man

by Girish Kalyanaraman

Photo and Copyright: PictureThisByMallika

I could almost empathize with that plain white shirt, as I sat by the river bank and saw it getting wrung from one end to the other, every drop of water squeezed out of it, getting almost mercilessly beaten on the hot rock jutting out of the water, as Velu was washing it for one of his customers.

Velu took a minute’s break to answer a phone call. “Saar, tomorrow evening I will give saar. Not ready saar. Yes saar, guarantee saar”, he hung up with a grumpy look on his face. “Everyone wants everything yesterday itself. Idiots. Does he not even have another shirt to wear tomorrow?”, he muttered under his breath, clearly cross with his customer.

Watching Velu wring the final drops of water out of that shirt, I could not think of a time when he was not angry about something or someone. Maybe I should learn to get angry more often with life.

Velu slowly walked up to me.

“See, thambi, this will dry in 20 minutes. Then I will press it and give you. I know this is that fellow’s lucky shirt, so I am sure you will get the job today if you wear this. Return it before tomorrow evening, and you can pay me after your first salary, ok?”, he said.

Tears welled up in my eyes.Maybe I should learn to be grateful more often in life.

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