Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Frequent Lives

I walked into the Mithaiwala's store on my way back home, trudging in my new formal footwear purchase. I knew these just dint fit comfortably but the salesman had convinced me otherwise. It had been a quick purchase in my 15 minute lunch break.
I crossed the road and was near the entrance of the sweetmeat shop, named after a prominent princely tourist destination in the desert state of India.
The sight of an open trash bin right there with soiled paper plates and house flies over it repulsed me, momentarily. This was India. And matters of hygiene were probably somewhere in between the soiled plates in that bin.
I checked the snack counter. Nothing appealed. 'Kachoris', 'Mirchi Badas', 'Punjabi Samosas' and obviously stale 'Dhoklas'.
Then I moved towards the counters of 'Gulab Jamuns' and 'Kaala Jamuns' and 'Rasgullas'....
Something caught my eye. A 'ten-er' (ten rupee note) and a loud voice.
The sales boy was loud to distract my attention.
"How many? One? Having it here?"
Across the counter was a man with a walking wooden stick, snow white hair, 'kurta payjama' and 'dessert hunger'.
I kept starring at that 'ten-er'. Then the old man. A part of me reminded me of my maternal grand-dad, who stayed with us till my widowed mother, little sister and me could manage on our own. I recollected the way he would get frozen packets of 'kababs' and I would be too foolish to not share it with him then, until Mom taught me the required 'ethics'.
Does it always happen this way?!?! Life always reduced to its lowest common multiple of money and our hearts little but infrequent desires when its nearing its end?!?
The old man now only shook his head with a yes, wanting to have the sweet there itself.
I wondered, how many times and in what circumstance's would I have to go to a Mithawala, with a ten-er, when my time arrives...

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