Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Black Umbrella

Madhavan ‘master’ is a local school teacher for the last three decades. Being one of the first literate of the sleepy backward village, he was looked upon with great respect.

A man with simple life, people recognised him with a clean white cotton shirt, and an equally white lungi. With a black handbag in his left hand and a long black umberalla (during monsoons) in the right, the man was a graceful sight to watch.

Every morning master would walk to his nearby school through fields, plantations, and muddy roads swinging his umbrella now and then. He has been using it ever since he became a teacher. In fact he was the first proud owner of an umbrella in the village.

The villagers at that time used to carry the traditional woven palm-leafed umbrella with a long wooden handle. Others simply used a broad banana leaf over their head. And some wrapped their heads with plastic covers. But master was the only one with a modern umbrella. People watched him with awe when he entered the street with the long, black wonder.

But today, the times changed. The sleepy village is now a bustling town, and every child in the school has his own umbrella. Some black, some colourful. Some attached with articles like whistles and torch lights. Even the size of the umbrella decreased drastically from walking stick size to pocket size.

But still master walked with his long black umbrella, … with hardly any watchers.


Rahul said...

Nosalgic narration ... A touching one indeed .

LauraHinNJ said...

A thought-provoking post. Nice pic, too. Funny the little things we remember important people for.

Ash said...

Nostalgic and poignant post. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Anonymous said...

A very good photographer you are! The story was so sweet with a swell of nostalgia :) Every picture has a story to tell :)

Sekhar said...

Thanks a lot Rahul, Laura, Ash, and Manoj for the comments.

Anoop said...

I went to my past..really nostalgic

Mel said...

Nice post. For some reason reminded me of my grandfather, even though there is no rain in Lima.
Might be the idea of the past that made me think about him... I don't know.
Anyway, thank you for always making my senses awake to my surroundings.

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When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.
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