Skip to main content

Write what you know, read what you don't.

The Watchman by Mrinal Rajaram


Like many stories, this too starts with a floral focus- “not a leaf stirs”. And from then on the story starts to become still. Damodaran, the protagonist, is like our everyday society security guard to whom we only pay heed when he gives a half hearted salute. Just that way, Damodar is trained to boost his master’s ego.

The weather is hot and humid, Damodaran is perspiring and has a gloomy look for as long as the story goes and to make matters worse- he has a broken plastic chair. The author started with building the background of the story, describing the locality where Damodaran works, his bittersweet  tailor friend who keeps him company with his mockery and a young lad who stops on his way to somewhere to sit and chat with Damodaran. All this on the first glance is sweet, touching subtle and a lot of critique inspiring words but somewhere amongst all this, the author looses the plot.

The scene where Damodaran’s room is described, there seems to be a building momentum with the onset of his departed son’s story. But alas, it dies too soon. There are scenes which could have been well formed rather than leaving them in a distant mirage.

Damodaran seems aimless all along and gets rebuked at almost every thing he does, he even stumbles upon an idli seller who scolds him for not knowing the concept of inflation, that just seemed too far fetched.

The story tunes down on a dusky note, with a small gathering of tired men, buzzing around a tea vendor. Yet again, Damodaran sits quietly in a corner, with a fly on his nose and his lethargic posture, watching the cars go by and smirking on his own whims and fancies.

Overall the story is a one-time read which leaves you in a trail of thoughts, but  just for a couple of minutes.

You can check the story out here.

Share this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *