Have you heard? Overheard conversations.

 It is not unusual to hear someone hum a song as they listen to music during their metro train journey, but this young man was different. He began singing loudly.

Right into my ears. He was so engrossed in the song, which he seemed to like a lot, listening to it with his earphones, but he became completely oblivious to everyone else around him. He interrupted his listening. “Keep an eye on Adi,” he told him. “Look at the status on his social media and you’ll known why I am telling you that,” he explained to the person at the other end who probably asked him why.

A little while into the conversation, our young man on the metro train asked his friend if he could arrange some money for him. He was not too bothered about the people around him who could hear the conversation. He hardly seemed aware that his voice was loud and audible and even if people did not want to pay attention to his conversation on the phone, the only choice they had to was move away from him. There was no space to go anywhere else as more people had got into the train by then. “I happened to buy a piece of land though I had no plans of doing that,” he told his friend. He had to pay for 33 guntas of land (that is 3,993 square yards) and he did not have that much money. From the conversation, everyone understood that he already had bought one acre of land. The man from whom he had purchased had told him that there was a road pathway to his land. However, he was now being asked to pay for that pathway. He could share the cost with another person who would also be benefitted by the pathway to his land.

It was obvious that the person at the other end of the phone was not too enthusiastic about responding positively to his plea. “Just keep it in mind at least. I might call you next month,” he told him.

The next call was to Adi. With Adi, he came straight to the point. Adi too seemed indifferent to the request as it could be gauged from the voice of the young man on the metro. “It looks like you have a policy in life to perpetually tell people that you have a lot of debts to clear. You are adopting a strategy so that no request can be made to you for a loan. I need Rs 4 lakh,” the young man told Adi.

Adi, it appeared, was plain and told him it was impossible for him to accommodate his request. After some more not-so-polite talk, the young man hung up. No anger. No ill-will.

He then started singing again – like he was the male singer in the duet he was listening to on his earphones. I had no choice but to lend an ear.

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