Skip to main content

Pehle aap

The Volvo (not just your average bus) screeched to a halt somewhere between here (Gurgaon) and there (Kasol) in the middle of the night (didn't bother to check time, it was somewhere around hungry time). The screech  put the dhaba waiters into accelerated motion. Towel on the shoulder, slippers under the feet. Hands busy waving away the flies. Eye roving compulsively and furiously over the fat contingent vomited out of the bus, straight into the washrooms. The washrooms lacked soap. (there perhaps was something that resembled a soap near the wash basin, but one can't be sure.) But that didn't deter us to go order food in the restaurant after visiting the washrooms.

At a distance, there were 3 portly men. One sitting, the other two were standing. They were intently avoiding each other's gaze. If accidents of timing made one catch another's gaze, both ended up smiling profusely with wild hand gestures. One can only surmize that the gestures were theatrical acts of extending respect. The one who was seated was not as animated. A little younger and fatter, he was incredulous about all the fuss around him. He smiled weakly, he gesticulated weakly.

To his misfortune, a waiter came along. He was carrying one cup of tea. One.
The first man (white shirt) enthusiastically offered it (or rather menacingly ordered the waiter to offer) to the third guy (red shirt). Red shirt pushed it away - 'pehle aap', smiling extra wide. The waiter's hands were in auto mode - moving as directed.
The red and white then got into a chorus and commanded the waiter to offer the tea to the third guy (Mr. seat) Mr. Seat was in two minds. He looked at them both, and made a weak gesture - asking the others to have the first tea. By this time the waiter's hand had completed a complete circle.
It was as if the waiter was a brahmin, doing a pooja of the three idols (Tridev!)
But this brahmin was getting a bit agitated. His body was tense with impatience. But he was too afraid to do anything. He eyes were extra alert and roving a tad too quickly. Curiously, he didn't look away from the trio for a second.
Mr. Seat then said that he can't drink this much tea. He gestured with his hand - a 'cutting'. He wanted half a glass of chai.
Mr. white shirt got into faux action, menacing the poor waiter again to go get a cutting chai.
 The waiter protested, someone take this one cup of chai first!
At which point, both red shirt and white shirt simultaneously leaned towards the waiter.
and then started the second round of 'pehle aap'.
The waiter had had enough.
He thrust the cup in Mr. White shirt's hands and left.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why I repair my shoe

I have 3 shoes. One formal, One sport shoe and another a mix of the two. The last one is particularly awesome, cause of its uniqueness. It looks like a formal shoe, but is as comfortable and flexible as a sport shoe. I bought it for my first job in Mumbai. I was newly rich and was expected to behave like one. I found this gem of pure black leather in a Colaba Causeway showroom. Quite a find. But its been almost two years now and the shoe shows its age. For all its awesomeness, its quite a weak shoe, to give out so early. I have stitched it, got new laces, and strengthened its sole. It doesn't look shiny anymore cause the leather has suffered from a few hostile trespasses. I think, like a man, things too should be allowed to carry their scars. Shiny scar-less men are just so... irrelevant. 

Since childhood, I have been used to using things for long times. Clothes, equipments, shoes etc. I can't just throw things away cause they don't look as good anymore or they don't w…

Reading India through 'Dictator's handbook'

What's the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship?
The book says, not much. India, agrees. Current political dispensation especially agrees vigorously.

"Soma" of hindutva and past glory + divided impoverished amnesiac masses + legitimised attack on individual rights + tremendous wealth shared among few = brave new world of oligarchical India.


Essentially, democracies/ dictatorships etc., are simply variants of the same power dynamic between the ruler, essentials, influentials and inter-changeables.

Interchangeables are the nominal selectorate - the individual voters who have nominal (or cosmetic) power to choose leader - most of us.
Influentials  are the real selectorate - the guys who really choose the leader. In US recently, the electoral college famously went against the popular vote and elected a clown as their president instead. In India, theoretically, the system is a bit better in terms of a wider base of influentials - it could be religious gurus, party…

I am a salmon

I am a salmon. It's been a decade away from my hometown, and yet my dreams refuse to relocate along with me. When sleep hasn't claimed me yet, but neither am I awake, you may find me in Nasik.
My senses fall back into their default states of Nasik when in-between. The space is of my home in Nasik, the sight is of the things around it. I might be hungry and thinking of eating a laddoo and my hands reach out for the steel dabba stacked on an elevated wooden cupboard stuck on the left wall of kitchen. In my mind's eye, I grope for the dabba momentarily as the search yields nothing - poof. the image disintegrates. I am snapped back to reality with a mild jolt. My mind reminds me of the layout in my own kitchen. There is no airborne shelf, there is no steel container, there is no laddoo. It says, go back to sleep. and I do.

_____

I shifted 3.5k km for a less polluted and less dangerous city a year ago.
And all was good. I get to walk and how I love to walk. I am truly happi…