Monday, June 8, 2009

It poured that day... Anjali's Version


It poured that day.But still, having tea with him outside was worth it. Not listening to mum, she left for the back alley. The small tea shop was deserted, the shop guy was the only one sitting there with a flashy raincoat on him. He expected customers even now, she smirked. And with a jolt, she realized that she was out for the very purpose.

She went and sat on the somewhat cold and wet wooden bench, not conscious at all. It wasn’t one of the things that could get her worked up. Her appearance, her clothes were all very normal. Infact, she was wearing her dad’s t-shirt and her baggy jeans. The rains always made her wear something of her dad’s. Warm and comfy it felt against the skin.

Time passed, she had a phone, but didn’t want to sms him..He would be coming anyway, didn’t need to push it. Instead, she lit a cigarette, rainy days deserved a smoke, she always thought….and so did crappy days at work. She suddenly realized, that how off late, she had been smoking quite regularly. She took a puff ‘ahh it felt so good’ she thought, but at the same time felt a bit guilty. She should try to quit, she thought. “Some other day I guess, not today” she murmured to herself.


Her phone beeped. It was his message. “Babes, its pouring here n am stuck in a stupid jam. Will be late. Leave after sometime ok? I’ll meet u at the chai wala in an hour or so?” She read and re-read. ‘Now what?’ She thought of going back but it was raining hard and she felt quite comfy here. She could wait for sometime and then see how far he was. Ya she would do that. “Ek Masala chai” she placed the order and lit up another cigarette and looked out.

Rain always had a calming effect on her. The water, the greenery, all made her happy and nostalgic. She started humming Country Road and smiled to herself. 'Why cant all days be like this?' she wondered. She was enjoying the randomness of the day. No rush, no deadlines, no phone calls. Only the sound of rain falling on the asbestos roof…

Masala Chai arrived in a small glass. She took a sip and cooed. “Perfect” she said to the chai wala to which he just gave a toothy grin. The big tree outside was swishing along with the wind. Suddenly she saw a small head peeping at her from behind the tree. She waved and called him out. But he hid behind the tree. She called out “idhar aao!” He again peeped and this time stared at her. She waved and called him. The little boy was drenched to the core and was shivering a bit. He kept standing near the tree and smiled shyly at her. She called out again, “idhar aao”.


He finally started walking towards her. The little thing came and stood at the entrance of the shop. He kept smiling shyly. “ Idhar aake baitho” she said and slowly he came and stood near the wooden bench. He was in an old dirty oversized T-shirt and shorts. Drenched, the thin T-shirt stuck to his small frame. He looked about eight. Although tiny and frail, he had bright eyes and chubby cheeks. She offered him a biscuit that had come along with her tea. At first he just looked at her and did not take it. When she insisted, he took it and gingerly took a bite. She noticed how quickly he finished it. She offered him more and this time he took two without any hesitation. He continued to stand at end of the long wooden bench she was sitting on. She looked at the small cabinet that was placed near the stove at front of the shop. There were biscuits in a glass jar, eggs neatly stacked next to it and paos in a basket. She ordered for a plate of 'anda bread' and another cup of tea.

She looked at the boy lost in his thoughts, gorging on the tasteless biscuits. “ Kahin kaam karte ho?” He looked up and nodded. “ Peeche ki dukaan me” . “Aaj kaam nahi hai?” “Dukaan band hai”. Ah well, that explains why he is hungry, must not have got his day’s meal.


The food arrived. “Yeh lo” she pushed the plate towards him. He looked at what was being offered and then gave a big smile. She noticed that one tooth in the front was missing. He took a big bite and sat down on the bench. She enquired about his name again. “Mohan” he said. “Kya kaam karte ho tum Mohan?” “ Peeche dhaabe pe kaam karta hu. Sab kaam kar leta hu. Chai dena, table saaf karma, sab kuchh. Baarish ke liye maalik ne dukaan nahi kholi” he said. She smiled at him and listened intently. She took a sip of her chai, and lit up her third cigarette. ‘I really need to quit!’ she thought and took a drag. “Didi aapko cigarette nahi peeni chahiye, sehat ke liye kharab hai” Mohan said solemnly and then took a bite of the bread. She looked at him and chuckled.



Image courtesy: http://mesimagesdinde.blogspot.com



13 comments:

Nandini said...

Its amazing how the mind works :) Three different versions so far and well, yours is the most different still; nice and refreshing. I can see you in the exact same scenario too ;) Well written and great photo choice!

The Sage said...

nice nice... the photo was almost self explanatory.... nice choice...

Anil P said...

Enjoyed the post. And the moral that Mohan passed on, in effect he paid for the bite with his sage advice :-)

ria said...

i loved ure version anjali :)

Piya said...

You my girl think 'outta the box' loved the imagination.. loved the story :D Cheers!

N said...

oh and what a different story you come up with Anjali! niiiiice! i like.

:)

Anjali said...

@ Nandini and Sage

The photo was Mrinalini's discovery so credit goes to her, and of course to the French Photographer who clicked it...

Do check his blog, got lovely pictures of India there...

@ Anil

Welcome to our blog! Yes, Mohan did 'pay back' in a way...interesting way of looking at it :)

@Ria and N

Thank You! :)

@Piya

as i always said- You are good for my ego :)

Beauty and the BEast said...

I love the twist in the tale! I love the tale itself even better! No wonder rainy moments go down in memory so well....

limenlemons said...

ladies, i moved.

N

Anonymous said...

this is so different from what one would expect when the story begins.. very interesting!

sanely insane said...

very bad didi...cigarette peete ho :P

Anjali said...

@ B&B

:) thank you...yes rainy moments are special...love them!

@my darling 'anonymous' sister :P

You being anonymous created a bit of a stir …and you know why :P lol! But thanks! glad you liked it

@N
You moved!But why?

@ Sanely Insane

Well...didi does want to quit!Its not that easy i guess :P

Ricky said...

A very heart-warming story...the story was indeed like a garama garam chai on a rainy day :-)

 

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