its 6: 50 AM now. its raining pet animals outside. already had a failed attempt at tea with far too much water, and nearly not enough milk. lets not talk about tea and sugar and proportions thereof. i am proportionally challenged. what to do?
what needs be done is, to take hold of the umbrella... pry it open. open the door and out of it. presently pleasantly wading through sheets of undulating water. walk through the narrow gully in my neighbourhood of slums. strategically place umbrella so that the water streaming down the plastic/vinyl or corrugated n rusted sheets don't bathe you. on the road to the left, i see a battered auto rickshaw split open. I walk ahead, buy 'the indian express' and sit down at the local tea stall in an august company of folks. two of them working at the stall. one a middle aged man with rouded eyes and round face and a rotund belly. he is preparing garam garam bhujiya! :D :D :D (hot pakoras, if u will.. ) the other a older guy in half pants sitting on a stool with scraggly hands on his scaly knees. washing the last customer's glass and walking back 2 m to his stool has left him a little breathless. he wears thick glasses and looks consistently apprehensive. as if anytime he might be evicted and left to mercy of fate. next to him is a regular customer who looks just as shiftily around. like in TV soaps, he looks in the opposite direction while talking to the tea stall guy. when asked about payment of his tea, he tells he had given it to tea stall wallah's son, who is sitting behind the guy, until now eclipsed by belly of his father. presently, while munching on a paav-vada he looks around in confused sort of way, trying to hide something apparently but not convincingly. his dad takes a note of this and doesn't say anything to anyone. back to the bhujiyas. by the time i had downed a glass of tea there.
the bhajis look alluring. can't not have it. swine flu! road side food! bleh.. 1 plate bhaji please :D
and another glass of tea. u know how wonderful it feels to eat garam bhaji and drink hot tea in a tea stall while the rains do their thing, and drivers of big cars do their thing of splashing water and soliciting for our curses.
another of regular patron comes and starts chatting pleasantly. he is talking of the tree that fell yesterday on a auto rickshaw. he thinks the auto rickshaw is the one which lies battered a few meters down the road. the tea stall nods and points to a guy who presently is stepping in the neighboring stall. its the auto rickshaw wallah himself. questions and story time!
he was minding his own business. driving the rick. no body was in front or back. and thud! he got hammered. a tree fell upon his fragile auto rickshaw. how is a two centimeter hollow metal rod going to withstand a one and a half feet diameter branch of a tree, falling dead.
glass shattered, rick split open. he doesn't talk of himself. doesn't look injured. a man lazy with words. tells only what is asked. i tell about a Mercedes that got hammered similarly near my office in Mahim a week back. bigger trunk. massiver tree. ooh! and i take leave with my umbrella and news paper.
i walk back with the umbrella side ways, letting myself get wet, but protecting the paper undereneath the umbrella. when near the chawl, umbrella back on head. u never know what might slither down with water over those roofs.
A Good morning! :)
and my bloody brilliant winamp in shuffle is playing bloody brilliant tracks now! (its the sun - the polyphonic spree, good day sunshine- beatles, pines of rome - resphighi....)