Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Daylight Robbery!

Traveling in the train the other day, I felt a vast someone practically flop down on my lap. I turned to look at a really fat foreigner, sitting with one ass on my thigh and the other one on another lady. We both shot her filthy looks, but she was oblivious to them.
Cursing under my breath (she was really humungous!), I returned to my book. At just about that time, she noticed that a part of me existed under her, and readjusting herself she said, Oh, so sorry! I felt my anger ebbing away, and she gave me a sweet smile. I smiled back, and balanced my back on my lap this time. In case she decided my lap was a better place to sit on, or something.
Some time passed in sheer peace, when a vendor stepped in with an assortment of imitation jewellery. The foreigner beckoned him towards her, and he came to us yelling and screaming. He pickled everyone’s ears with constantly yelling Ae yerringsssssss, benglesssssssss, ringssssss layyyyyyyyyyyy.
Anyway, the foreigner (obviously new to the place) eyed all the (downright UGLY) jewellery like it was Swarovski crystal sold in a sale. She pointed to a pair of earrings, and the boy took then off the stand for her to admire.
She carefully looked at them for a while, and decided that that was what she had to buy. She asked him the price, and he said Char Sau Rupaiyya. I did a double take on that one. The firang turned to me to ask me how that would be. Four hundred rupees, I said. She looked pretty pleased with the sum Quite a steal, she remarked. I gave the vendor a dirty look, and thought it was time I took bloody matters in my own hands. So while the woman was rummaging in her purse, looking for four hundred bucks, I gently patted her arm. She looked up at me. The earrings are worth just ten bucks, twelve at the most, I told her. WHAAAATTTT? Oh my gaawwd! She exclaimed. Yep, lady. You can’t come to India and spend four hundred bucks in a train.
She rapidly zipped up her purse and started looking out of the window like nothing had happened in the last five minutes. The boy gave her a puzzled look, Oye madam, jaldi karo. Utarne ka hai mereko! he told her. The woman gave him one look, and yelled, I DON’T WANT TO BUY ANYTHING FROM YOU,YOU…YOU… BLOODY CHEAT!
After this dramatic outburst, everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY jumped in their seats. A small kid even started crying at this rude interruption to her sleep. Then the most bizarre thing happened. The woman just gave me a swift hug, and I almost died with astonishment. After the neck and back-breaking gesture, she gave me a sweet smile. Thank you so much for warning me. I couldn’t afford to get cheated since I want to wire money to my mum, back in England. I guess every rupee counts, eh? Thank you so much! she exclaimed, gratefully.
Having a great feeling in the heart region, I realized I had done my good deed for the day.

1 comment:

G@K said...

Hope u charged her for the hug at least! No less than a thousand bucks for ur services.