Between colleagues, crushes, and friends, there is another group of people who have a silent, but an unavoidable presence in our life – our neighbours. And while we often crib about the interfering neighbours, we forget to thank the one neighbour who actually goes a step beyond. 

And that’s exactly the kind of neighbour Priya Malik talks about in her storytelling piece, Mera Uparwala, as part of Kahaaniya – A Storytelling Show By Tape A Tale

She talks about how, as she moved to Mumbai, even in a large crowd of people, she was lonely – a feeling all of us have experienced when we’ve moved away to a big city.

She continues on how, in the absence that we create in our own rat race, we chose materialism over relations. 

“Aap ghar,gaadi paise se ek aesa rishta bana lete hain, ki aap roti ke sath nashta, kapdo ke saath duphar ka khaana aur makaan ke saath lipat kar so bhi jaate hain.”

And in this race, we may choose our place to live, our friends to hang out with, but a neighbour can be a God’s gift or the Devil’s Curse, depends on your luck: 

When her neighbour, who she earlier thought was coming on to her, offered to help, his innocent smile, devoid of mischief, convinced her to at least take a tentative step forward. 

And perhaps that innocent smile allowed her to reach out to him when she was down with high fever and bereft of friends to look after her. 

Not only did he look after her, he also taught her a valuable lesson.

She ends the poem on a note that we all would agree with because we’ve all had one such neighbour. 

Whether it is taking in your packages when you are at the office or sharing sweets with you because you can’t go home for a festival – our neighbours have been there for us, in their own simple, sweet way. 

You can listen to the complete poem here: 

 Design credits: Kumar Sonu