I opened the door to see some men clearing up the opposite room.
“Vacating?” I asked.
“Ya. We are shifting to the next street. Seven years is too much,” said a Chinese-looking neighbour. I had seen her many times, but never talked.
“Seven years? I have been here nine years and we have never talked a word. If you don’t mind, where are you from?” I asked, stupidly thinking she will reply China.
“Darjeeling,” she said.
Ma Salama. And she was gone.
So much for neighbourhood.
Remembered an incident narrated by a friend about his nosy neighbour. In Mumbai, many residents keep their doors open. Neighbours interact on a day- to-day basis.
One day this friend had a tall, dark female visitor. At the opposite room, a housewife was engaged in tailoring work and the machine was going on “taka taka taka…” This friend left the door open and the two chatted. He suddenly told her he got a new job. The lady instantly gave him a bear hug. Blushing, he pointed to the door. She was double his size, picked him up literally up to the door and pushed it while holding him.
Suddenly the machine sound stopped. Taka taka tak.
Silence for a minute. My friend, still in her grip, peeped through the little open door. The neighbour had stopped her machine and looked out like a giraffe pointing its head out.
In a moment, the friend opened his door and the neighbour had almost reached his door to check out.
Snooping neighbours may be a blessing for wives, but not Casanovas.