Little Myriad Smiles

Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

It was just another night, when the three of us, to satiate our taste buds, decided to gorge on Pani Puris. So, off we went down the road, to the pani puri bhaiya. It was the first time I was having pani puri from this particular vendor. After lots of trials and tribulations with road-side food, I had decided to go easy on pani puris, very much wary of the water they use. But it was one of those nights when your tummy takes absolute control over you and orders you around.

I still remember the time when I was first introduced to gol guppa- I was totally enticed. We were a bunch of chaat-novices

um.the yummy calcutta style pani puri.

from Kerala who decided to ‘try it out’; novices because chaats are not part of our cuisine or culture. At the most, you have chaat vendors in some restaurants; road-side chaat vendors are a rarity.

Eating pani puris, if you ask me, is a rhythm in itself. In a circle, we- the eager to eat hogger’s stand; the maker- the pani puri bhaiya, puts one puri to the plate of the first person in the circle and when the puri is half-way from the first hogger’s hand to the mouth, the second person will get his puri and when the person immediately picks it up to eat, with lightening speed next puri goes to the next-in-circle’s plate. The mere rhythm of putting the puri in our plates and the pace in which the puri goes inside one’s mouth is what adds to the charm of gol guppa.

As usual, a crowd had thronged near him and after what seemed like ages, we got our much awaited pani puris. I was a little agitated as my pace of gorging one puri after the other had gone for a toss, thanks to the braces on my teeth. I cursed my fate for making me wear it now and slowing me down from eating, thereby losing the amazing gorging experience.

Once our stomachs called it the quits and the satiated smile started playing on our face, we started chit-chatting with bhaiya. After some pleasantries, I asked where he is from. His answer that he is from Gujarat, kind of shook me. I kept quiet for some time, wondering why would somebody come all the way from Gujarat to Mysore, sell pani puris and save up enough to go see his wife and kids once in a while. It beat the living logic inside me why he couldn’t have sold pani puris in Gujarat itself.

The curiosity getting the better out of me, I asked him, “Bhaiya, aap kaam karne ke liye, yahaa kyu aaye? Gujarat mein kyu nahin bechte pani puri?” His answer still reverberates in my ears.”Aap kyu apna ghar chodkar yahaa ayi madam? Kaam karne ke liye,  hai na? Mein bhi yaha kaam karne aya hu.” My underlying tone of questioning him on the meagre profit he will make lest he sells here than Gujarat hit a sore chord on the dignity of labour.

There I was, falling into the typical thoughts of a middle class or the rich Indian’s profit-making judgemental thoughts; forgetting for a moment that there is no difference between the both of us. He may be making Rs.10 per plate and there is a mammoth amount of difference between what he earns and I earn. But at the end of the day, both he and I are working to make money in our own terms. The only difference between him and I is that he enjoys his work and I don’t which in turn makes me a slogging slave and him a dignified person.

The dignity that he upheld, the way in which he commits himself to his work and makes sure it caters to our taste, the candidness with which he answered my questions with a smile on his face- taught me a life lesson. Respect.



Posted on: March 4, 2012

I waited for it to flow down

Its adamance pronounced with every passing moment.

Eluding me right from childhood,

It mocked at my emotions.

I was chocked but helpless

I waited for it to stop teasing me,

To treat me like any other girl

But I was marooned

With a heavy heart and bland eyes.

Geez!I am loking at my blog as if it’s an alien thingy. The alacrity with which I thought I would blog, I must confess, disappeared into thin air 😦

First of all, I need patience galore to actually pen down something. *fact,guys*

Second, I choose to be creatively dead because that is so convenient. *grins widely*

Third, I am more of a scribbler than a writer and twitter is my abode. *excuse bought for myself*

Well well well!You must actually admit the above three points are quite excusable 😀

Anyways, I have decided to blog more and get myself out of this self-imposed brain dead state 🙂

P.S: I am an optimist, period and Garfield still is my guru 😛

No, she’s not my grandmother. She’s somebody I met in a local train…somebody who changed my perspective… somebody who made me appreciate life. I never even got to say goodbye to her. But she did certainly etch a place for her in my heart! 🙂

It’s 10 o’ clock. Two kilometers away, the train is all ready to set its journey and we are stuck in the traffic. I was damn sure we would miss it. Amma was nearly on the verge of tears and Raji, my sis was…er, I guess I didn’t look at her. I was staring at the seaming crowd coolly. First of all it’s not my cat exam (grins).Second; there are plenty of options if you ask me to reach Calicut even if you miss one train. You can always call a taxi, give him a few extra tips to fantasize himself as a F1 driver and catch the train in the next station(a little bit of exaggeration, I admit!). Not that I was much interested in accompanying her to her cat exam. It was just that the thought of Kozhikode biriyani and halwa allured me a bit too much and as usual my parents clubbed it with a pilgrimage to Guruvayur .The only thing that bugged me is to how to kill time once we are in the train.

Yippee!!! The train was late and we got it. But it was full of snooty crowd and added to it I didn’t get a window seat. Swallowing all the cuss words, I went around in search of a seat. After settling down, I tried texting all my friends and only one bothered to reply me. We chatted for quite a bit and he also left. Left with nothing else to do, I took out my copy of Tagore’s Gora and started reading.

Somebody was smiling at me. I could see that out of the corner of my eye. Slowly, I lowered the book and my eyes met hers. My first thought was, “Whoa! Cool”. Having so used to seeing aged people either too weak or sullen and dull, the grandmother I met that day was a pleasant surprise. She might be in her late sixties, looking all smart and ‘chic’ in her capris and tee. Smiling, she asked me whether I read Tagore’s books. Expecting that she’s into his books and all, I shyfully admitted I haven’t read any other book by the author. With a naughty grin, she told me that all she read in her teens were Mills and Boons. Oh boy! I was so surprised! 😀 And so began the inspiring story of my new-found granny 🙂

Born in the pre-independence era, she hardly got any education. College was a word alien to her. By the time India got her independence she was married. Then like any other Indian housewife, she was busy with her household chores. But after the demise of her husband and the children got settled, she started a play school. That was the turning point in her life. Here was a woman who didn’t feel the need to shut herself in a room and vile away the remaining years of her life as a mere widow. She chose to stand on her feet, live her life and not just exist. Added to it she started traveling a lot. The gleam that played in her eyes while she was recounting her itineraries couldn’t help but bring a smile on my face. There she was…a free bird, spreading out her wings and flying wherever her wings could carry her…gleeing joyfully…smiling playfully…living life!!! 🙂

For me SHE is woman. The courage to go out and meet the world…a woman of strength, substance and beauty…not defied and diminished by her age or milieu. I couldn’t say a goodbye to her because she was sleeping peacefully, but granny you will always be special 🙂

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