Other day I met Albert Camus. Strangely enough this wasn't the first time. But when I first met, I hadn't noticed him. Thus he didn't exist, to me at least.
This time we met each other at the Aadhar card enrolment office. While I was there to enquire about the process of procuring one for myself, Albert was there for updating his finger prints. He mentioned he couldn't authorise the transactions with his finger prints. Thus he couldn't avail his pension anymore. "Please update your biometric again, your finger has faded" the fellow at the bank had told him.
There was a long queue at the center, and it was a hot summer day. Albert was right in front of me, thus I ended up chatting with him. While most folks in the queue were getting restless and fidgety, Albert was quite content to stand there, his 5th attempt to update his fingers on database, he mentioned. He mentioned he can't understand why folks lose their cool in these situations. Men are quite irrational, we quickly concluded.
I told him that I had read "The Stranger" recently again, and had to admit that I identify myself with the protagonist of the story a lot more than to my liking. It made me a bit uncomfortable, I mentioned. Albert said quite a lot of people identify themselves with the protagonist, especially in their thirties and forties, and it is natural to sort of feel ashamed for it. Same people, if they read it again much later in life, will have no shame to completely identify themselves as the protagonist, he had noticed. "Many of us are strangers on our own way", I quickly made a comment while feeling quite proud about my witty remark. Albert didn't have much in for a response.
While people still discusses his novels and ideas with him, he doesn't particularly like it. It makes him a bit nauseous, he'd rather go fishing or try to chat up a young women, he told me. But this particular problem of not getting his pension has currently occupied his world entirely, leaving not much time or money for any leisure activities yet.
I told him that I am a bit surprised that he has opted for getting Aadhar, and is okay with all the privacy he has to give up for it. He seemed least bit concerned about this topic. "I need my pension", he told.
After a while, it was his turn to meet the officer in the center. I met an another officer for quick check of my documentations at the same time. Later while heading out of the Aadhar enrolment center, I bumped in to Albert again out side the office. He mentioned the computer had failed to update his finger prints, and he will have to attempt again later this month.