Last night, after a long time, we went to one of the well known pubs in Calcutta for some live music. The band is well known and was good fun, as expected. The music was good. One of the lead singers was a very attractive young woman about my age dressed plainly in a jeans and top. She was big boned and handsome. Attractive eyes set in high cheekbones and flowing dark tresses. I’ve noticed her before but commented on it this time. Someone said, “Oh, she’s perpetually stoned.” How presumptuous, I thought. I wouldn’t mind being stoned if I could sing like that! But then I started watching her. Like, really. Yes, her smile never reached her eyes. Her gaze was vague, unfocused. Her movements at times were mechanical, wooden even. But what a voice! And she used it to her advantage belting out the Beatles, Joplin, Floyd…
I sat quiet and watched her. Was there anger there, or hurt? History of abuse? What would it be like to get inside her head? How would she be as a friend? Was she bored? Was she distressed? Did she have a job to return to in the daytime? Kids? Responsibilities? Was she lonely?
Or, was she just happy being herself?
And who was I to judge her by my sterile and inane standards of worth?
I sat back and enjoyed the music.