Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Fernandez and the Violin

It was a sultry summer noon at the beach. Usually crowded in the evenings there were not many people around. A fiercely mustached man  with his bird cage, a fortune teller, walked around in the sun, looking for clients.  The lone ice cream vendor with his mobile cycle shop was sitting at the band stand. Couple of people slept inside as the hot winds blew the beach sands all around.

Sea was calm and far away in the outer sea one could see a ship in anchor, another boat nearby. Eagles floated around high above in the skies, watching the land below. Some boys on a bike came and left, perhaps those slipping off from class at the nearby college. A police jeep came, took a round, left. No one got out, such was the heat. Another family came in a car, may be mother, father and adult children, they too took to the shades of the band stand.  

And then he came, a clean man ever smiling, in graying old pants, shirt ducked in, a faded belt tied around,
and carrying a violin. The case of the violin was far too old, but he kept it dear as could be guessed. He came silently, sat near the ice-cream vendor, they made some small talk. After a while slowly the man stood up, came to the centre of the band stand and started playing the violin.

He played it well, swaying, as if Yehudi Menuhin in concert at a city hall, as the lashing sea waves gave the symphony. It went on for some time, then he stopped, and holding the violin approached each one around. He did not beg, just stood there, his eyes mischievously asking for small change. When someone gave he smiled, when someone did not give then also he smiled, fine, no complaints. Again went and sat near the friend, the ice cream vendor.    

Later he went out from the band stand looking for more clients. There were a pair of lovers sitting close to the sea under an umbrella, and some boys were playing in the waves and his aim was to entertain them. As he moved away I asked the ice cream vendor, who is that man. That is a very rich man, his name Fernandez. Owns a villa in the city and estates but will not take anything from home.

His wife and children are all very rich as well, they are in the United States as someone tells, he said. An Anglo-Indian he comes every day, sings and collects the donations, then goes to the nearby bar, takes his quota of drinks and takes food. Returns back to the beach and till evening he entertains the people, gets what they give. I looked towards the sea where he went, he was trying to play for the love birds, who seemed not very keen though.  But he has no complaints. Left adding one more to the beautiful people met in this life. 

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