Parking area of a nondescript Mumbai apartment building.
An elderly gentleman is sitting on a plastic chair. He’s wearing a turban, a short-sleeved shirt and glasses. Behind him is a small passage that leads to the lift and a staircase.
Not-so-young woman comes out of the lift and as she makes her way to the gate, she passes the elderly gentleman. He beams at her and continues beaming throughout the following exchange.
WOMAN: Good morning, uncle.
UNCLE: Good morning, good morning. You’re going out?
WOMAN: Yes, uncle.
UNCLE: Good, good. You must go out so that you can come back. It’s very important. We need people like you to come back.
WOMAN: Erm, yes, uncle.
UNCLE: Yes, yes. You go, you come back and then you can attend the housing society meeting.
WOMAN: Oh. Is it happening now? As in, today?
UNCLE: No, next Saturday. You’ve read the The Times of India today?
WOMAN: I’m afraid not. I don’t get it.
UNCLE: You must read it! Page 6. It has great news, beta! Great news!
WOMAN: Oh really?
UNCLE: Yes! Really wonderful. A boy was riding his bike in Bangalore and a speeding lorry hit him.
UNCLE: It ran over half of him and he was just lying there. People were taking photos. Half of him, run over! Half of him!
UNCLE: He told people around him that he wanted to donate his organs. Then an ambulance came and he told the ambulance driver also. “Driver saab, aap dekhna ki mere aankhen kisi ko miley,” he said. Not in Hindi, in Madrasi, because this is in Bangalore but like that he said. Half of him! Run over!
WOMAN: Did they reach the hospital in time?
UNCLE: No, he’s dead.
WOMAN: I’m sorry, uncle, but you said ‘great news’…
UNCLE: What can be greater, beta? What an amazing boy! It makes you think the country is not so bad, after all.
WOMAN: But uncle, he died.
UNCLE: Haan, but his organs will be donated.
WOMAN: I’ll see you, uncle.
UNCLE: Read The Times of India.