Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kabuliwala

Early every morning, and then later on in the morning, and often several times in the evening as well, harsh-looking men come by our building. They walk up and down the road in front of our balconies and call out in rough voices. They rarely get an answer and even more rarely do they have the door open to them. Sometimes they get angry and call out abuses. A couple of times they defaced the doors of the flat downstairs.

They come looking for a woman who lives below us. She apparently borrowed money from them and doesn't make her return payments in time, frequently arguing over the amounts demanded. 

When we first moved in, they used to come upstairs. They would come to my door, these large, scary-looking men, and ask me if I knew where the people downstairs had gone, did I know when they would be back or how they could be reached. When I woke up early in the morning to let the maid in or water the plants, I would see them prowling downstairs, unnerving in their regularity.

My father says I should not mind them because they are trying to retrieve money that belongs to them. I find them not only noisy and unnerving but also annoying because our neighbours downstairs keep locking the building gates at unexpected hours to keep them out.

We are looking to move again. This will be one of the things I shall be glad to leave behind me.

3 comments:

Aneela Z said...

I had interviewed one in Guwahati some years ago!
http://golkamra.blogspot.in/2006/05/pathan-in-guwahati.html

eveslungs said...

They look scary but they're only chasing their money poor things . I know of a family in Jodhpur Park who had to hand over their flat to them to pay off a debt . The Kabiliwallahs stayed there - were very decorous and after a couple of years left the house and the family moved in .

Sue said...

Aneela -- Fantastic reading. Thanks for the link.

Evie -- My god. I do not feel sorry at all for the ones who come prowling downstairs. Sometimes they ring all the bells outside just to get some attention. Sometimes it's evident they want to create an uncoomfortable atmosphere for the whole building in the hope that we'll put some pressure on the women downstairs. All I can say is, leave me out of it!