Ixobrychus flavicollis...


मौत के बाद याद आ रहा है कोइ,
मेरि कब्र से मित्ति उथा रहा है कोइ,
एह खुदा दो पल कि ज़िंदगि और देदे,
मेरि कब्र से उदास जा रहा है कोइ...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Badam-girls

some of the fragmented projections of time-n-space, which left a deep parmanent imprint in my neurochemicals and still refuses to part with me, is - Pitaji buyin' badams for his ten year old kid from the friendly seller.

well, not really a stone's throw from my house, but a javelin could happily follow this locus of gastroenteric indulgence - i'm dead sure it could.

every other stuff changed since then, megamalls sprouted just like the wild lilies in almost every remote nukkad of Hindustan, and i graduated from roadside chullah-hot badams to roasted coffee beans - consumin' them very often and as much as the organic sabji from these mammoth superstores.

a few weeks ago, i couldn't find this known face anymore, my family badamwallah - and was greeted by the vacant asphalt instead.

later - maa informed me he passed away. it felt as if we just lost a close member of our family. 

Kolkata's still not experiencin' that much amount of chill which'd compel me to take out the pashmina from my closet, i chose to wear a Shantiniketani shawl and went to the nearby stall to grab this month's Scientific American.

marchin' past quite a few meters, i witnessed a small gathering, next to the self-taught mehndi-artist's erstwhile empty territory - and was surprised to see the girls' brigade.

the show must go on, now that's just what they thought, the daughters of the badam-monger.

a visibly impatient man in his early forties stood in front of me, basically a babu from the Writers and a typical titomaniac at night, bitin' the butt of a a Navy Cut in pure sado-masochistic pleasure and carefully watchin' the balance with all his undivided attention - the worry-crisscrosses on his forehead silently spoke 'bout the escalatin' costs of his only son's engineering education.

or, perhaps, the early signs of male menopause - who knows really?

next - my vision registered a college-couple standin' next to me. 

arektu beshi kore jhal-nun dite bolo!

the timid boyfriend happily obliged the gal's legitimate demand for a decent supply of a homogeneous mixture of table salt and hari mirch powder, which should, and must accompany their packet of crispy 'n' crunchy badams.

they fought a while ago, she was thorisi naraz, what for? 

i picked up the cues from their not-so-continuous conversation and figured out the reason why. 

the danger looms just right there and most probably i'm gonna fail miserably, for depictin' their middle class aspirations while belongin' to the affluent bandwagon, perhaps it's as difficult as searchin' for a sixteen year old virgin in States - and strictly for statistical purposes.

barely crossed the teenage, their blank slate aka the mind , happened to be not so blank this time and already engaged with the frightenin' thoughts of unseen future after the global meltdown. 

a spacious sedan, a dream house, and a fat cheque - is all she wants for her guy. 

and obviously, she wisely opted for the time-tested easiest route of emotionally blackmailin' him, so that he could drop his future plans to be a professor and happily agree to bell the CAT which'd give him the golden opportunity to break forth the closed doors of any of the Meccas of the much coveted world class management education - the IIMs.

i see nothing wrong in longin' for a happy lovin' family - do ya?

the smartest, most chirpy and eldest of the lot - the late badam-man's bari beti took the lead. 

clad in a shinin' black salwar and flanked by a vibrant blue dupatta, which i presume she's bought to celebrate the Chat Puja seekin' the blessings of Sun-God, i watched her fannin' the Earthen chullah with an unmistakable zeal. 

with an equally honest amount of enthusiasm, she instructed her younger sister to make small slices of piaj and adrak, and scolded the youngest coz that lil' girl was playin' with her Pantene sachet - the fortnightly self-pamperin' she can happily afford i guess. 

her multi-taskin' skills were laudable beyond any question, as she separated the dry skins from choles 'n' chanas and checked how much imli masala left in her arsenal, a zarda can in reality - and exchanged pleasantries with her clients in between.

i was wavin' the mag to kill some imaginary mosquitoes, and she suddenly asked with an envious simplicity, aap ka mangni ho gaya babuji?

the Muzaffarpur dialect she spoke made me understand that though they accumulated workin' knowledge of Bengali - it'd take a while to get a hang of Charnock's megapolis. 

i chose not to explain my strong affinity for a specific molecular arrangment of Carbons and decided to go for an ambiguous smile. 

even my visitin' cousin, who flew down to offer me the tika at Vaidooj, she too thought i'm engaged - her conviction inflated exponentially after hearin' that it costs a lil' more than the world's cheapest car from the TATA stable!

i counted the chutte and grasped my sau gram garam badam i requested - it smelt terrific and promised an intrinsic out-of-the-world olfactory enjoyment.

those badam-girls!

proudly carryin' the paternal legacy of offerin' mouthwaterin' smoked almonds to the hungry souls. 

meanwhile, women victoriously made their way to ACLU with the induction of Amrit Singh as a staff attorney, and maintained their supremacy in the top hundred WTA rankings as Sania keeps us mesmerized with her magic - while the whole country gradually prepares herself to don the shoes of becomin' the new economic global superpower under the apt guidance of none other than a woman.

unaware of all of them, and even their counterparts in the Loksabha and Rajya Sabha, the badam-girls continue to manage their business as usual. 

takin' my Carl Zeiss specs off - my naked eyes stared at the full moon of Raas Poornima for a while. 

a Kiran Mazumdar Shaw or an Indra Nooyi did break the glass ceiling. 

but these girls don't need to.

who on Earth settles for some cheap glass when you've this fine firmament as your shamiana!


At January 26, 2009 at 10:49 AM , Blogger FREE ALL CARDS said...

How spontaneous! I love the way you write.

Keep scribbling!

At April 29, 2011 at 6:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your spontaneity .. great writing...

At December 22, 2011 at 10:48 AM , Blogger Infogravity said...

nice post, looks really good!


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