“Madam Ji, aapney socha kya, try maarne ke baare mein?” Santosh Bakaya’s aspiring milk vendor has been driving an aggressive sales campaign to make her his customer. His latest sales pitch ends up like a fielder diving to catch the ball.
Enjoy Morning Meanderings with a hot cup of tea or coffee and some cookies to munch on the food for thought. 😊 ☕️
As I ventured out of the house, I noticed a group of labourers had already converged near the tea shop and were busy talking animatedly, before they would head towards the construction site, well-fortified with tea. Some had just one cup of tea, and some were not content even with four cups. Soon more people joined them – the well-heeled ones, spiffily attired. One of them was carrying a couple of newspapers which the newspaper boy had handed over to him, and was casually flipping over the pages.
The tea vendor had not come, but his wife was valiantly holding the fort, her eight month old daughter snug in her arms. Freshly bathed, her kajal-rimmed eyes twinkled in merriment, and her well-oiled hair shone brilliantly. As usual, I stopped to have a little conversation with the woman.
“Your husband has not come today?”
“Another builder has called him for the job of a security guard, so he will be going there.”
“Oh that is good.”
“Let’s see whether he gets it.” She remarked thoughtfully.
“What did you cook for lunch?”
“Oh, nothing much. I just made roti today, will ask the sabzivali, she is my friend, you know, for a few green chillies and one onion and we will have rotis with that”.
The way she said this, with such a lip-smacking pleasure, I was almost tempted to try having roti with a couple of green chillies and an onion.
“Time pass ker rahe hain, madamji,” she added.
The toddler in her arms was making eyes at me, which twinkled away with uncontrolled mirth, flailing her arms, wanting to be picked up.
Before I could match twinkle with twinkle, and pick her up in my arms, a motorbike stopped near the kiosk and down jumped the milk vendor.
Yes, you have guessed it right! It was the same milk vendor who had given me nightmarish nights by his persuasive salesmanship, wanting me to buy milk from him, instead of from the dairy. He quickly appropriated a stool and looking at me with a piercing gaze, asked, “Madam Ji, aapney socha kya, try maarne ke baare mein? (What did you decide? Wanna try the milk I supply?]
Then his hawk eyes darted around, a predator stalking his prey, time and again his voice breaking out with the insinuating inflection of one who has something very intriguing to tell anyone willing to lend him his ears. The moment he appeared, many of the joggers coming from the opposite side, scampered away. I was sure, they too had been at the receiving end of his persuasive tactics, sometime or the other.
“Abhi nahi socha,” I said brusquely, moving away, trying to hasten my pace.
In his bid to spring from the stool and accost me, afresh, he tripped and toppled over, his pudgy hands frantically clutching the air. Thankfully, he was not wearing a dhoti today, otherwise, things would have been more comical. He was flaunting a weird shirt, an unimaginable mess of colours – parrot green and flaming red. I wondered, if this is one of those great sales ‘pitches’ – literally and physically!
The labourers broke into raucous laughter, thumping each other’s thighs and shoulders.
“Jab dudh mein paani mila key bechogay to yahi hoga,” (If you sell milk adulterated with water, this is bound to happen) rejoined one.
“Aisey hi girogey,” (This is the way you will fall) sneered another, with a malicious guffaw.
“Doodh kaa doodh, paani ka paani,” quipped the third one, noisily slurping his tea, gulping it in one go, and throwing away the cup, which by a weird sleight of hand, struck the milk vendor on the head .
He got up growling, stomped towards the culprit, wanting to catch him by the collar, but the poor labourer was clad only in a well-ventilated vest. He flung him away, disdainfully, and walked towards the motorbike, cursing under his breath.
“Main tumhey apney asli rang dikahoonga, tab pata chalega.” (I will show each one of you my true colors, then you will know) We could hear almost his gnashing teeth as he headed towards his motorbike.
“Tum kya dikhaoogey, huh?” (What will you show?)
“Totey to humnay khoob dekhey hain.” (We have seen a lot of parakeets)
With this cruel dig at his neon green shirt, the entire group broke into uncontrolled laughter, and the milkman sheepishly slunk away. The laughter resonated in the surroundings, falling onto the heads of the laughter club members just a few feet away in the park. They abruptly reined in their artificial laughter, craning their necks in their direction, for some inspiration.
I don’t know, whether they were inspired, but I had definitely found my inspiration.
Today, I am going to try having my roti with a couple of green chillies and an onion.
(Picture: Santosh Bakaya)
Not familiar with the milk vendor earlier? Click on the picture below to meet him:
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