You witness the strange phenomenon once again. You are so back in the traffic jam, that you move when the signal turns red, and you grind to a halt when it goes green. You are so confused… that ultimately, when you see the open road right ahead, you don’t know which color means start and which means stop. But, the rick guy who’s driving you around knows best… he slows down enough to make it stop until it goes red again, and sets the universe back in order! The greatness of rick guys has already been eulogized in a previous post. I guess they are to thank for the following experiences too.
Traffic Signals, seriously, are amazing enough to have been filmed upon and written about. And why not, it’s an awesome act that goes on there, day in day out, 24X7, and never ever with the same set of characters! And, in this ‘nautanki’ of life, there are a few ‘stars’, who know their lines, and their roles, and in fact are forced to know them well enough, to eke out a living on that stage. You see the Havaldar, and you wonder whether he oils the hinges of bones on his hand everyday. There’s the tell tale cripple, the blackened boy in tattered clothes, the man carrying another on his back, like Vikram-Betaal . Add to this mélange, a bookseller, the peanut guy and the ‘Sir, flowers for Madam’ guy. Evil eye banisher nimbu-mirchi lady smiles away through brisk sales, but the gajra girl sports a frown, with flowers adorning the hair seeming to be on a decline, with fashionable hairdos setting in. Then you see the eunuch and begin to think that strange is the director who character-sketched this part at the signal! Three incidents on… it’s not the director, but it’s the script-writer that left me dumbfounded!
Me and my friend, are stuck at the Andheri Shopper’s Stop signal, which over the times is starting to seem ritualistic. I see eunuchs approach. About them, human emotions were being put on a vibrant display. Some swore, some shrank with fear, some turned into SRKs < read emotively plastic>, some sat smug in their A/C cars, some smiled, and some threw a few Rupees out, even when they were two rickshaws away!
I always find myself in a dilemma, when it came to paying beggars, whichever role it may be that they are portraying. I don’t encourage it. So I sit still, and stare at the signal, willing it to turn, but the numbers that ticked down, ensured that I remained put. The eunuch draws up close to my rick, peeks, instantly sees my lack of intent to pay up and says…
“Sir, Medems < to my lady friend>, some monies, for all your dreams, wishes come true. One time only pay!!!”
I paid up, so did my friend, completely out of surprise… My mind was lost, picturizing far away, Eunuch Voice Training / English Speaking Centres! Then the eunuch smiled and let out a sonically philaharmonesque “Thank you” that would have made a few airhostesses and mobile/credit card ‘free offer’ plan women turn suicidal over job security!!!
This brought to mind, two other amazing stories that my brother had narrated.
The first was what my brother’s classmate experienced, when she found herself at the receiving end of a singing talent.
“ It ees a lhouly wheather.
There is no suuuuuun todaaaay,
There is no mooooooon todaaay,
It ees a lhouly wheatherrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!”
I bet she couldn’t have said no after that performance!!!
The second and the best was …
My bro and another girl, who was his senior in his college, were traveling in a rick, when pounced upon by a motormouth who starts showering them with blessings!
“ Arre aapko bohot saari khushiyan milen, aapko padhai main achche number mile, aapko achchi naukri mile…blah blah blah blee blee blee blue blue blue”
They are in the process of paying up, when the eunuch suddenly utters, “ Aap dono ko bohot saare bachche ho”
My bro and the girl suddenly freeze and put up a shocked look. The girl says, “Arrey, ye mera bhai jaisa hain… hamare bachche nahin honewale!!!”
The eunuch quips, “Arre lekin maine kab kaha aapko bachche ek doosre se honge. Aapko aapke pati se hoga… aur inko inki biwi se!!! Aap log bhi naa…”,
She grabs the money and fades back into the petrol fumes, leaving behind two idiots with sheepish grins, and an ‘about to burst soon’ rick guy with a very very interesting story to narrate back at the rick stand!!!