Changing My Watchman..!

Robert Clements
21 Sep 2020

The watchman outside my gate was fast asleep. He was old, and wanting to return to his village, “We need to change the watchman!” I said as I glanced wearily from my window at his sleeping form.

“What?” shouted the wife, jumping out of bed and staring at me with fixed, fearful eyes, “What have you done husband? What have you done? Tell me and we’ll think this out together!”

“Done, I’ve been sitting here, ever since the lockdown began!”

“Have you been on drugs?”

“Drugs?” I asked perplexed.

“If you’ve been on drugs, then we’ll have to get a watchman from the city to guard you. If you’ve said something controversial like our colony reminds you of Pakistan or China, then we’ll have to get security from Himachal Pradesh!”

“Himachal Pradesh?” I asked incredulously, “I had no idea they send watchmen to our city!”

“Well Kangana came all the way with them, and they looked quite smart walking on either side of her as she stepped out of the airport! I wouldn’t mind a watchman from there! Or…”

“Or what?” I asked.

“If you’ve had a whiff of drugs while I’ve left home everyday, then the city will surely provide security for you, while you are being called a drug dealer! Did you?”

“Well once in college,” I said lamely, “I thought…”

“You smoked weed?” asked the wife, “Let me ring up the jail, and mention that you do need a fan in the night. They give one only if requested!”

“No, it was not weed!” I said quickly, “I thought it was, but it turned out to be a cigar!”


“All cigars are imported!” I said lamely. “In fact, I still have one or two in my office!”

“Then get security to guard your office quickly!” said the wife, “Or the local municipality will come and break it down, for concealing smuggled goods!”

“I.. I’m getting terrified!” I said, “Does this jail term and demolition depend totally on what kind of watchman is protecting you?” I asked.

“Very much!” said the wife knowingly, “Poor Rhea, protected locally and now cooling her feet in jail, and Kangana with outside security and now, no office! And look what today’s paper says, ‘Even Jaya Bachchan to get security for talking against the film industry!”

“Local or outside security?” I asked.

“Outside, because she spoke against the local!” whispered the wife.

I put on my shoes fixed my mask and walked down to my watchman, still fast asleep. I placed a table fan next to him, and saw him smile in his sleep as he felt the breeze.

“What are you doing?” shouted the wife.

“Making him as comfortable as possible!” I said looking outside fearfully, “I don’t want my office destroyed or a jail term just because of a new watchman from the wrong place..!”


(Published on 21 st  September 2020, Volume XXXII, Issue 39)

Recent Posts

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been overactive for the last one and a half months testing as many as 12 new missiles.
apicture A. J. Philip
26 Oct 2020
“My country is rich in the minerals and gems that lie beneath its soil, but I have always known that its greatest wealth is its people, finer and truer than the purest diamonds”,
apicture Jacob Peenikaparambil
26 Oct 2020
Right from the beginning of January 2020, Coronavirus has become the talk of the year. Many lockdowns and un-lockdowns have happened in the country to safeguard ourselves from the deadly virus.
apicture M L Satyan
26 Oct 2020
The Hathras horror cannot be studied in isolation. It ought to be put in relationship to several other harrowing tales of innocent victims of the Ruling Dispensation’s partisan concept of justice.
apicture Archbp Thomas Menamparampil
26 Oct 2020
We MUST Stand with Fr Stan Swamy because he epitomises all that is good in the Gospel of Jesus and the Constitution of India.
apicture Cedric Prakash
26 Oct 2020
Empty promises amidst the long wait.
apicture Pachu Menon
26 Oct 2020
Adopting preventive measures assume special significance considering onset of the festive season across the country and elections in Bihar.
apicture Aarti
26 Oct 2020
It is high time to wake up and act.
apicture Varghese Alengaden
26 Oct 2020
India supplied the most wanted two medicines, paracetamol and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to over 3-4 billion people across the 120 countries during the recent COVID-19 pandemic times.
apicture Manoj Varghese
26 Oct 2020
“Economy at Doorstep of Recovery, says RBI guv” the headlines in today’s paper said and immediately felt a sense of deep peace settling over me.
apicture Robert Clements
26 Oct 2020