City Moment – A Friendly Surprise, Gurgaon
The memorable instant.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Can you survive daily life without friendship?
Not having even a single friend?
Prakash Swami can.
“I have no friend,” he says in a friendly tone.
In his early 40s, Mr Swami is a driver working for a bazaar shopkeeper “seven days a week, morning to night.” He informs matter-of-factly.
Resting in a Gurgaon park in the Greater Delhi Region for a brief break from “load transferring” work, Mr Swami assures that he is not a cynical person without faith in humankind for dependable friendships.
“Frankly, it is very difficult to make friends in big cities,” explains the Rajasthan native. “I’m not into dosti (friendship) line and I just don’t get time. I work like a horse during the day, and at night I return to my (rented) room in Jyoti Park and get busy making dinner.” After which he feels too exhausted to go out and be an extrovert.
Mr Swami asserts he never feels lonely. If he gets an urge to share moments of sudden happiness or grief, he calls up the family in the village on his mobile.
The gentleman, however, confesses, following a round of persuasive questioning, that he does have a friend after all. “But that’s a bachpan ki dosti (childhood friendship)… Om Prakash lives in my village; he’s a marble contractor.”
Just then a happy-looking bearded man appears from behind and covers Mr Swami’s eyes with his hands. The driver laughs, forcing the man to take off his hands, and sportingly introduces him as a colleague, muttering instinctively, “He’s my dost (friend)!”
It’s a lovely moment.
And his friend list is… zero