Tag Archives: Delhi

That man with books and a cup of tea

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The sunshine of the beautiful Spring morning fell graciously upon Delhi town. Out in Connaught place the warmth seemed to infuse into daily walkers, the newspaper hawker, young and old lovers, the policeman among many others. The otherwise grumpy old man tipped the chai wala generously, the coffee shop guy put the extra creme in the coffee cup of a trendy North Eastern lady. This shriveled beggar approached the task of trying to persuade perfect strangers to bear the burden of their maintenance with that optimistic vim which makes all the difference. It was strange yet happy morning!

But this girl who looked eighteen but was actually twenty two, was in no mood of imbibing that brightness, that joie di vivre. It was as if she took a flight from Mars like a perfect stranger- lonely and lost yet curious. So, she walked aimlessly humming Bob Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine Man, when she banged into somebody not quite the man with a tambourine but a man with three books and a cup of tea.

“I am awfully sorry ma’am,” said this book man.

“Look you Mr. absent minded, What you did to my white chicken cloth skirt, it’s all brown now- because of your yucky tea. Already, I am uncomfortable in this strange little town and you have made it worse.”

“Tell me how can I make it better for you?”

“By buying a new skirt for me for starters.”

It was maybe her figure of speech or her angry expression that made him laugh hard and this infuriated her. But he was smart enough to cut her off in between and suggested an idea.

“Okay I am buying you a new skirt,” said the book man with a look that expressed, “Wow! I have got this new experiment to deal with.” He was amused yet little scared by this petite girl.

It was a scary although exciting proposition but she walked with this polite book and tea man and she carried mountains of heavy thoughts that made her more nervous than having been caught by her dad stealing his Glenfidditch and her class twelve board exams.

“I think I should go or maybe I should walk with him. This is Delhi after all.”

Seeing her nervous the man asked,” Why are you so scared and nervous?”

Does this man happens to have an X Ray vision. “No I am not nervous….haha nervous who me? I was wondering what books are you reading,” she replied trying to find a common interest.

“Okay one is PG Wodehouse, Jeeves novel if you heard of it…very funny, this one is by John McEnroe- the tennis star and the third one is by Gurucharan Das- India Unbound.

“Oh I have read India Unbound and enjoyed it. Mr. Das is one of the few Indian authors who writes so well and Jeeves is my absolute favourite. I love tennis and wouldn’t mind reading the legendary John Mcenroe’s book, I have read Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal’s,” she replied excitedly.

“Hmm quite a tennis lover you are… So what do you do?

“I seriously do nothing as of now. I am looking to work somewhere, probably I want to get into the marketing field.. What do you do?”

“I, well don’t laugh but I work in a bookstore.”

She let out a whistle hearing this- the whistle that would have made Audrey Hepburn’s in Breakfast at Tiffany’s sound less significant. “Wow! I like the company of book lovers, so where is your shop? I must visit it some time. Are these your books?”

“Yes these are all mine. Come to my bookstore today, it is at Hauz Khas village.”

 

 

 

 

 

Old man always whispers words of wisdom.

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Sometimes we all need little doses of inspiration, slight emotional encouragement and good thoughts to keep us all moving forward as otherwise we might use big big words like, ‘existential crisis.’ We humans have a knack of making simple things look complicated and not only that we have mastered this art. I love when Avril Lavigne sings this song, ‘complicated.’

I mean look at me how simple my life was, the girl who used to play in the kitchen all by herself when she was three today thinks she doesn’t have many friends. But little does she realize that the friends she has our worth their weight in gold. No extra baggage! How complicated was Holly Golightly’s relationship (Audrey Hepburn) when all the time she loved Paul Varjack (George Peppard). Wasn’t it as simple as that in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? But living in such a world we are all but Holy Golightlies.

Well, I have share of my friends and family who, ‘no matter what’ will want to see me smile and be a better human being. One such person is my grandfather whom I fondly call old man. Whenever my spirits turn into smoldering ashes, he always comes up with the right things to say that makes those ash turn into fire. Like a phoenix I rise and then my decisions are usually wise. There are some of his emails and letters that I wanted to share, if it makes somebody smile then I can at least have ‘one’ saintly moment.

The first email was when I was giving journalism a shot and losing hope

Hello Devika
Thank you ever so much for the very nice card, I am more than very sure u will do very well in journalism There is a marked improvement in the skill of letter writing . The work of journalism is like a potters work where the quality of soil is important but much more important is to give a proper shape .
Wishing all the best
love
nanu

The second email is mine where I thanked him for the comment on my blog and I got a wonderful reply.

Thanks Old man. Sometimes I get the idea and it works wonderfully. I met my French teacher today and he almost hugged me, he said that he was very happy and surprised to see me. Didn’t know till now that I was his  #1 student. I am happy that I met him because he is leaving the country on 22nd of this month. Blogging makes me happy, writing actually unleashes the repressed feeling. I will meet you soon, I am so sorry that I don’t call very often these days and I should. Noddy must be keeping everybody busy these days….I met him after such a long time. I hope some good stuff is coming out of hell’s kitchen.

Take Care( and I know you do)
Devika.
THANKS young lady   keep on writing   not only this permits you to vent you repressed feelings but is a creative art too. Any creative art which brings out your hidden talents and helps make you a better person is worth it. So be at it with more efforts to do better. 

We all have made blunders in life but the good part was that we learnt out of them and didn’t repeat.
Miss you a lot. Noddys presence has warmed up the home though for a very short time   he leaves on 21st evening
lots of love
old man
The third memorable email to him  was on the Christmas Day, 2012 
Hey old man,

 Merry Christmas.
 

It is very cold and I need to buy for myself a pair of gloves or mittens. I went out today, didn’t want to be stuck up in the house and that was a very good change. I bought this wonderful book, “Maharani” by Ruskin Bond. The best words to describe the book are, “rib tickling.” A story of spoiled, selfish widowed yet charming maharani who has a reckless drinking record. The story is about love, death and friendship. I wanted a light reading and this is perfect.
 I love my new hobby- blogging. Don’t know when it might come to an end and I have to start some another one. I am slightly bored without Amrita but I hope she is happy and keeping well. Delhi is not a very warm place and people are even colder. Basically, Indian people usually are not my types. They always live to show off. i find rare exceptional cases at Saharanpur house. 
Long letter and good wishes,
Devika.
and remember the reply by heart
Hey young lady,

nice to go through your mail and this feeling is a constant one as far as I am concerned . Time, when you should have your own definition of life. As for me it wasnt  much about the achievements but more about how played my cards when I had a very poor hand
this gives a satisfaction and makes you wiser too. I many a times got a much poorer hand than what you have in your hand at the moment Nothing to worry about, you will not have a hand like this for ever. We strongly wanted you  to come and join us so that may do a better planning for the future but as you know we are not usedto use force of any kind  on the young birds that are learning to fly. Communists had a battle formula which they called ‘ONE STEP
BACKWARD and TWO steps FORWARD. Hope you understand that.We  also enjoyed your surprise of getting a book as a gift. He must have assessed you as a good reader 
its very cold here wanted to write a very long mail but my fingers are not supporting me
you are a brave girl indeed but always remember not to work as in reactions but with a positive aim will go through your blog now
lots of love
nanu  
This was when I gave him one good write up. I will value these lines, made me feel special.
 Proud to be your grand father , grandfather of a person who does not believe in looking back. WELL DONE
I wanted to write more but then dear readers might want to kill me by now. Trust me you all have a reason to feel good about, just be happy and content.
Thanks and regards,
Old Man.