"To eat is human, to completely digest divine"
It had been a long time I had been in front his cart, gorging on Rajasthan's finest panipuris, or so he called them.
"Kya saheb, badi beejee ho aajkal?"
My sidekick in streetfood misadventures, D, had the instinctive reply, Saheb here is on a diet. He smirked.
"Samose, bhelpuri, masala puri,.."
"Two channa samosas."
I usually eat on the street with my army of connoisseurs of fine street food, and it is then that the most unearthly of remarks escape our chutney filled mouths.
"That girl looks like she's 32 da"
Its not very difficult for the seasoned sightadichifier to comment on a girl's details(and very accurately at times too!) if she's married, if she has kids, if she wanted kids, if she didn't want kids, if she looked like she wanted kids, if she wanted you to think she wanted to have kids, if she was going to buy vegetables, if she had slept with Robert Redford, if she believed in communism, if she had lice in her hair, if she thought your glasses were geeky or if Stephen Hawking's stupid automatic wheelchair ran over your cat.
"Extra meetha daalna"
He was a role model to most. I mean, just look at him. There he would be serving all the cute lookin chicks, takes a leak in the gutter behind him every now and then, and then washes it all down in that famous panipuri's pani, when there are no customers around he sits and scratches his privates, we even calculated that he makes atleast 500 a day. He sometimes had to pay the mamu(the cops) I guess, but then that's hardly any to enter his big accounts. What the fuck am I doing in an engineering college?!
"Ishh, Riju, how do you eat such muck?", said an old lady my Mum used to know when she was little when I went to(well, forced to) her place one day. "God knows what' he puts in those what-do-you-call-them he makes." I was a seasoned receiver of her renowned lectures she usually gave to people whom she thought were reclusive,and i expected one no different.
"Aw come on, its good for us, increases immunity doesn't it?"
She was a gourmet, a bon vivant, the opposite of our breed. She wasn't too keen to oppose my view though, she hated arguing with pesky little kids. So I had my way on this one.
"Machan, you pay da. I'm still overdrawn on my allowance from BOD(Bank of Dad)"
I looked at the panipuriwala. He was pretending to rearrange the clutter of bottles on his cart, which strangely resembled my study, only he actually worked in all the mess. Maybe it wasn't a mess for him, maybe it was order, he had to make do with whatever little space was given to him, and he used it. Then the difference hit me. He used space, I wasted space. Then my friend pulled out a hair(yeww) from his plate of panipuri, and we were afraid to ask where it came from.
"Toowenty phour, saheb"
Saheb pulled out a twenty, which the panipuriwala put in his moneybox without even glancing at it.
Regulars always got a discount.
An elderly angel in a deep sleep
4 years ago