i was waiting for this rick guy saeed bhai to come to drop my friend off to the airport. it was already 7 10 and he was supposed to have come by 7. i had already made two calls to him and was getting a bit irritated when he showed up. relieved i asked him as to what took him so long. " woh aaj subah nasir bhai ki mother off ho gayi" (nasir bhai is another rick bhai). that shook me, NOT just the fact that nasir bhai's mother was NO more, but more so the way the news was delivered. asked him about nasir bhai's father, "woh toh bahut time pahle hi off ho gaye thhe". someHOW his mother's death was so much a fact NOW.
i was pretty sure i would see nasir bhai the day after or something smiling "chalo ujjwal bhai kaha jaana hai?". & it would be the same old nasir bhai, with his crutch roaming around the city with any of the students trying to find the stuff we want with full vigour. someHOW one knows that the emotional trauma or just emotions perhaps is just a commodity NOT many can afford. reminds me of this chai waala i met in the old city about a year back or something. seXy chai i must tell you. but more importantly he had this cup, he used for measuring the sugar. it was an old old cup, cracked & in fact broken at several places and clearly stuck together. when inquired, the cup turned out to be of the 60s (around 1962 or 65 if i am NOT wrong). can you beat that. a cup that has seen it all. from emergency to earthquakes to the riots and still there, being put to good use everyday. that cup was the cup which this chai guy had stepped into this profession. when i asked him as to why he doesNT use a new one "isse maap sahi hota hai" (its measurement is right). i tried to coaX it out of him that it was just because of the fact that it was his first cup he was still hanging on (because that was the reason) but all he could come up with was that "aaj kal chalu cup milta hai" (the cups available now a days are cheats) and would go on to eXplain me as to how they had thickened the body of the cup so as to accumulate only half as much quantity (& that s the cup he uses to serve chai). but for once he couldNT say anything like, i like this cup, or it s been with me since ages. it made me realise something, emotions and/or emotional attachment is a commodity NOT everyone can afford. the thing is that he needed to attach some practical reasons and eXplanations to the cup or else it would have become "useless". i was back at the shop a few months back, he had a new sugar measuring cup, that one had broken into pieces that was NOT attachable again. & he had this tinge of sadness in his voice, but he had to rush off to deliver a tea then. when he was back he gave me another chai and over that cup of chai he told me had another one like that at home and that he doesNT want to use it. so i asked him as to if he is just keeping it for keepsake. NO, he would give it to his brother who might be opening up his own chai shop in near future, " woh kya hai na, usse maap sahi aata hai". (actually the thing is that its measurement is right)