The young driver with his assortment of passengers was like a cooling eyedrop, bringing me relief from the unsavory sight of jiggling paunches and potholed roads. The whole thing is that it is definitely not money — but these small pleasures of life that make one whole. Enjoy Episode 3 of your favourite morning read with your morning coffee! ☕
Morning Meanderings Season 3 comes to you with weekly episodes that will brighten up your mornings and make your Thursdays extra special! ☀️📆 🎉
“Hole!” said Mr. Polly, and then for a change, and with greatly increased emphasis. “’Ole!” He paused and then broke out with one of his private and peculiar idioms. “Oh! Beastly Silly Wheeze of a Hole!”
He was sitting on a stile between two threadbare-looking fields, and suffering acutely from indigestion.”
It was almost surreal.
Through sleepy eyes, I saw this very scene from The History of Mr. Polly replayed before me.
There was a man perched precariously on a stile, grimacing. The grimacing face convinced me that he was undoubtedly suffering from indigestion.
I was sure H G Wells would have loved this scene and, written a sequel — Some More History of Mr. Polly! Honestly, the man did say “HOLE”! I heard it good and proper.
But, a little more eavesdropping revealed that he was talking of the potholed road.
“The number of potholes on the road has increased after the rains. They have become so dangerous,” he said, casting fierce looks at the road, which was scary, squishy, and in a sorry state.
The stile-man shuddered, and the others perched languidly on the wall fronting my house also shuddered in sympathy at the potholes responsible for their recurrent shudders.
“You all know how fast I walk”, he said, trying to hide his paunch with a pudgy hand.
“Of course, we know.” Two of the joggers, not jogging, but slothfully sitting on the wall, said, stifling their giggles.
“Just now, I was running so fast that I almost stumbled into a pothole,” he remarked, his whole body one huge quiver.
“Running? Really? Your paunch must have broken the fall.” One man said in an aside.
“I thought you said something?”
“Nothing at all. I uttered not a word.” The man rejoined, poker-faced.
The paunchy one looked daggers at him, but he seemed to be unaffected by the daggers.
Feeling like a square peg in a round hole, I walked on, thinking and singing, There is a hole in the bucket, wondering how the lazy Henry would mend the hole in the bucket, being so full of excuses. I seemed to be fixated on holes!
Suddenly that Mehmood song from Sabsay Bada Rupayya buzzed in memory — The whole thing is that ki Bhaiyya sabsey bada rupayya.
Well, none can deny that the whole thing is that, money IS important. Gold is precious.
But I have realized that it is the gold on the squirrel’s whiskers, the filtered drop of golden sun on the dog’s snout, the sprinkled gold on lush leaves, that is the most precious.
Can the hug of a gold necklace give one the same pleasure as the hug of a child with golden ringlets? No way! That hug is enough to fill the gaping holes, which sometimes the heart seems to be overburdened with.
It is nature which enriches us. It is nature’ s Midas’ Touch that renders the soul whole.
I walked on, unfazed by the potholes — clinging on to nature as my crutch. There was a bench carved out of a plank of wood under a tree by the wayside. I sat down to catch my breath. My phone beeped and as is our habit nowadays, I checked my phone even though I wasn’t expecting any message from anywhere. And with WhatsApp you don’t need to have great expectations. It will dump a mound of messages on your head the moment you swipe it open. Well, there it was — a heart-warming video, on my phone screen.
A teenaged boy was driving a mini tractor-trolley on a strip of road between two threadbare-looking fields. A small seven or eight year old was sitting in the trolley truck bumping behind the mini tractor. On suddenly catching sight of a rooster, he jumped off the cart, dashed towards it, and scooped it in his tiny arms. Then he placed it in the trolley cart, planting a kiss on its crest. The rooster looked surprised but rather pleased with the sudden shower of affection.
The rooster safe in his trolley, the teen started the vehicle, now and then casting solicitous glances behind to see whether the rooster and the boy were snug. He expertly navigated the potholes on the uneven road. Suddenly a dog bounded up to the mini tractor trolley and jumped on to the bobbing cart. The boy nuzzled the dog, the rooster looked annoyed at the shift of affection and the teen driver laughed.
Reminded me of Majrooh Sultanpuri’s famous couplet:
Main akela hi chala tha jaanib-e-manzil magar
Log saath aate gaye aur caarvaan banta gaya
(Jaanib-e-manzil=towards my destination)
The young driver with his assortment of passengers was like a cooling eyedrop, bringing me relief from the unsavory sight of jiggling paunches and potholed roads.
The whole thing is that it is definitely not money — but these small pleasures of life that make one whole. The sun-splattered sparrows scavenging for grains on the road, suddenly burst into a frenzy of chirps. I was narcissistic enough to believe that they were applauding my way of thinking. I skipped my way home, humming the Mehmood song…The whole thing izz dat… 😄
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