Posted by: cochinblogger | August 17, 2009

Manoharan the Lunatic

Traveling in an auto one day, I spied a strange-looking man walking on the road. He was half-dressed in a shirt that had seen better days, empty sleeve hanging limp. In fact, I thought he was missing an arm before I saw the arm in plaster. OK, I won’t test your imagination any longer: here he is. Blame the blur on relative motion.

Here he is at close quarters. Not exactly friendly, eh? The auto driver told me about this man, whose name is Manoharan. He’s insane, probably a schizophrenic, and spends a lot of time directing traffic at one of the major junctions in the city. The policeman on duty gives him a wide berth, because Manoharan tends to throw stones. He doesn’t do any real damage, and so he’s tolerated.

The other day, however, Manoharan found himself in the Aluva railway station. There, he began harassing a group of women on the platform. Some louts on the platform observed this, and took matters into their hands. They caught hold of Manoharan, and brutally broke his arm. Manoharan spent a few days wandering with a broken arm before some kind soul took him to a government hospital, where the plaster was fitted.

A sad tale, alright. There are many schizophrenics like Manoharan who wander the roads of Cochin. They are usually completely harmless. (Though when a person sleeping on the pavement is murdered, suspicion falls on these lunatics. One such murder took place in the heart of the city recently.) From time to time, they are picked up and deposited in a settlement in Palluruthy, but that facility is overcrowded. And so these people keep wandering our roads like lost souls.

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