A jaadu ki jhappi is enough to wash away the blues of life, if even for a few seconds. A handful of love, a fistful of warmth, a guileless smile, a shoulder to cry on and the golden shower from above is all that one needs to get through in life.
Enjoy Morning Meanderings with a hot cup of tea or coffee and some cookies to munch on the food for thought. 😊 ☕️
I had just begun my walk, but the other joggers had finished their walk and were now comfortably ensconced on discarded oil cans which were doing double duty as stools outside the tea kiosk. Pretty wobbly ones. The ground was uneven, sitting on the stools was precarious, but unfazed by the wobbliness of the stools, the joggers cum discussants were going full throttle. I noticed an absolutely new group of joggers who, I was told, were lecturers of an engineering college in the vicinity.
Comments and counter comments were being bandied about, interspersed with loud slurps of tea, head shaking and clucking of tongues.
“We have two Indias; one reels under a dry spell, and the other is flooded. Look at this pic,” said one wiping beads of sweat from his forehead.
The newspaper showed a family preparing food on a makeshift raft in a village in Assam.
“Our priorities are all skewed,” said one, with a goatee beard, morosely shaking his head.
“Kitney haathi!” The three year old son of the tea vendor walked up to the man reading the newspaper and exclaimed in a highly excited pitch.
“Dhat! Yeh koi haathi hain!” His mother remarked, handing a miniscule cup of tea to the man, who looked as if, any moment, he would topple off the stool. From the woman’s expression I could gauge, that she herself did not know what the animals were.
They were rhinos which had moved to higher grounds in the flood affected areas of Kaziranga in Assam.
“It is always the poor who have to suffer,” the woman remarked, deftly pouring another cup of tea.
“We are sending the Chandrayana to the moon, but are we bothered about the plight of the common man?” The man with the goatee said, scratching his goatee.
“I think, it was in the year 1972 that the king of Bhutan had decided that his country would adopt gross national happiness as a goal. People scoffed at the idea. But, honestly speaking, shouldn’t the happiness and well-being of the citizenry be any democracy’s priority?”
These words followed me as I walked a little further. Health, satisfaction, well-being? Yes, indeed, was it not important? I trudged on, lost in deep thought, my lips moving and heart praying for the people of Assam.
The labourers’ shacks a little distance away, were buzzing with activity. Cow dung cakes were stacked in a corner, one on top of the other, like a wobbly pyramid about to topple over and an old woman sat on a frayed string cot, cleaning and chopping sprigs of spinach, potatoes, onions and garlic. Another was stoking the fire with pieces of cow dung cakes and twigs. An absolutely bony dog slouched near the pyramid with a proprietorial air. The old woman flung a toothless smile in my direction, so full of warmth that I wanted to go up to her and hug her. And I did.
Momentarily taken aback, she looked at me with a nondescript expression and hugged me tighter – her bony arms refusing to leave me for half a minute, then she showered me with blessings galore. Her genuine innocence and the spontaneous love gushing forth was so endearing, that I was sure it would fortify me for many a day.
“Kal bhi aana,” she called after me. “Zindagi mai aur kuch nahi bass pyarr key do bol chaiyeyen. Lekin charon or bass nafrat hai!”
We live in an age of image consultants, where the word of every celebrity is carefully curated, and presented in caps and ellipses galore. I had found my celebrity, and her words were forever etched in my heart. I doffed my hat to her as the Midas touch of the sun turned her white hair to gold. A handful of love, a fistful of warmth, a guileless smile, a shoulder to cry on and the golden shower from above – does a person want anything more in this hate ravaged world? The old woman had got her priorities absolutely right, so what if the others’ had not! The jaadu ki jhappi was enough to wash away the blues of life, if even for a few seconds.
I headed home, bent on flaunting the old woman’s words to the world in golden caps – LOVE MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND!
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