Ramlal was a vendor of seasonal fruits. The items kept changing every season but his favourite selling items were mangoes. It was the most profitable item and he was an expert in gauging the quality. Everyone wanted to learn from him but he would keep the secret buried in his chest. He had learnt the art from his father and he would only teach it to his son. Mango season was his favourite also because it’s the most luring fruit and it was costly.
Ramlal had a neighbour, Prayas, who would come to his laari (cart) every day in the market and spend at least five to ten minutes checking and smelling the mangoes. Then he would ask for the price of the mangoes. “100 rupees for 500 gm mangoes.” Prayas, without the slightest disappointment on his face, would smile and leave. This would happen every two or three days. This thing had started to annoy Ramlal.
Continue reading “The Mango Thief”
“This man is a gem of a person. Imagine, he’s fifty and look at how he runs every day, greets everyone with his charm and throws his generous smile for everyone who can catch.”
“Ya. He’s nice. But do you know he’s a divorcee?”
It was not false. He was actually a divorcee but people made it sound as if that meant vampire. He had gotten himself into a fixed routine in order to avoid facing all the null and the void. He would begin his morning with a long walk at a park nearby. He was known for his greetings. He would greet everyone good morning- old, young, kids, aunties, their husbands, everyone. Small talk was no material to him. Why give yourself false hope? He would rather send across a tax-free smile. And it would work wonders for everyone.
Continue reading “Love in Awkward Times: 2”
He had known her since childhood. Their homes were quite near to each other since years. Now, they worked at the same place. He was 27. She was 26. Both of them were among the most good looking singles in their community. Now it had been months since she was trying to express her feelings to him since so many months. But he’d never ever pay attention.
As children, they had been very good friends. They would go to school together. Their school was a thirty-minute walk from home. As he was a neighbour and a year older, her parents had assigned him the responsibility of accompanying her. While returning back from school, she would wait at the school gate for him while he played with his friends. At times, even for an hour. By that time, she would pluck some flowers from the garden, pick up some stones from the road and make a small rangoli. It was a great pass time and she’d forget all the anger for him in her heart. When he’d be back, he would look at the piece of art and appreciate her with a smile. They would walk together to come home. It was a long route and they would talk all the way. There was so much to talk about!
As they grew up, an awkward distance grew. They had a strong sense of affection for each other but there was no scope for words in their society. Girls and boys grew up to be partitioned by a moral sense. But she never quit. She secretly nurtured her love for him. When they began working at the same place, she soon began giving hints. He would act like he had no idea what she meant. His childlike innocence was at times very attractive and extremely irritating at the other times. Even now, after so many years, he was making her wait.
Continue reading “Love in Awkward Times”
Two neatly dressed but visibly nervous people sitting in a cafe. The guy is firing one question after another and the girl is trying to be calm and answer one at a time like,
“Oh. To be honest, I am a sleeping beauty and I love sleeping. Actually, I work out once in a while when I think I am growing fat. Otherwise, I like to sleep. I love sleeping.”
Guy: “What kind of movies do you like?”
Girl: “Actually, I love sleeping more than movies..”
Guy: “Have you ever been in a relationship?”
Girl: “Umm.. to be honest..yes.”
Guy: “Oh. May I know why did you guys break up?”
Girl: “As I had said before, I like honesty. And I found out that he was cheating on me. So I broke up with him.”
Guy: “Do you have an Aadhar card.”
Girl: “No, I don’t have an Aadhar card.”
Guy: “May I know why?”
Girl: “No, no. I have no problem with the concept of Aadhar. I don’t even know what is all the fuss about. Banana baki hai. I am planning next week.”
Guy: “Achha..And do you have Jio?”
Girl: “Yes, I have a Jio number but not the dongle.”
Guy: “May I know why?”
Girl: “As I had said, I don’t need the internet as much while I am travelling. And I love sleeping..so..”
To be continued…
Few months of late night Q&A sessions and One Year Later, selfie on FB with the caption:
“No1 knows me more dan u. No1 loves me more dan u. Five Month Anniversary with d luv of mah lyf”
Away from the crowd of what seemed like some fifty very excited people, she found refuge in a dim corner of the room. Solitude can be edible she thought. She felt someone’s steps coming towards her and quickly turned, only to see his face.
He: Where have you been! I have been looking for you everywhere!
She: Nope, not everywhere. Otherwise, you would have found me.
For the first few years of their marriage, he went home with great expectations. At the end of a hard day, he would look forward to meeting his family, his loved ones. He wasn’t too much into lavish parties or such extravaganza. He wished to be greeted with smiles and love.
Instead, he would get weary eyes full of expectations and words filled with questions about bills, repairs, vacations, and shopping. He thought he was earning all that they needed. But it was never enough. Nothing ever is.
Then one fine day, Continue reading “Home is Where..”
It was almost dinner time and these five women were at a Sev puri laari. Sev puri is definitely one of the most endearing dishes in Ahmedabad. Everyone comes with their own taste and preferences. Some want it spicy, some want medium spicy, others want more onion and some want it Jain. These women were eating with two 10-year-old kids, roaming around playfully. They opted for super spicy dishes. It’s only when you are two (puris) down, that you realise that it’s a little over the limit. But it’s generally too late to regret. While breathing heavily because of the extra spice, these women with a heavy rural Gujarati accent, they began contemplating about the next food place.
Janki: So what do we want to now? Let’s finish the Manchurian on the opposite side, while these people (the husbands) go and have their egg bhurji at their favourite place close by.
Draupadi: Wouldn’t it be easier that we too go with them? Rohan (her kid) has not had it since a lot of days.
Janki: No. I don’t think they’ll let us go with them. Gopal (her husband) said that women generally don’t go there.
Draupadi: Hmmm. But I went with a friend from the society, just last week. It seemed fine.
Rohan, who’s the naughtier kid of the two, and more of a talker, slips in and very playfully asks his mom, “Mumma, am I man? Will they take me along?”
Mumma and the aunties burst into an instant laughter. Continue reading “Gents Only”