The Tea was hot, but it was melting my frozen tongue anyway. I am a stranger with no money, no job, no home; yet I feel blessed that I am rescued by such a pretty girl. I guess love was taking its course but then again I never experienced it before so I didn’t know what love was like!
There is no one at the Chai (tea) shop, just me. The old man sat opposite to me and had a warm smile to him and asked me:
Aap Kaha se Hai?(Where are you from?)
Hum Dhar Gaon se aye hai uncle ji (I have come from Dhar Gaon Uncle)
Acha, kisi kaam se aye hai kya? (I see, have you come on some work?)
Nahi Uncle, mein toh… (No Uncle I just…)
I thought to myself, maybe this is a good opportunity to find about any jobs available here, my new life could have some meaning if have a steady job to get me food.
Mein toh Kaam dhunde par aya hoon! (I have come to look for a job)
Kaam toh yaha par mil jayega, Isiliye sare log Ram Gaon ko ate hai. (You will get a job here, that’s why people come to Ram Gaon)
Magar beta, kaunsa kaam karna chahate ho? (But son what work do you want?)
Woh toh mein socha nahi, kuch bhi jo mil sakhe! (I haven’t thought about that, anything that I can find!)
“Suno ji, Cheeni ladyio!” (Listen, get some sugar!)
Dekho, ab mujhe kaam par jana hai, chalo beta baad mein milte hai (See, now have to go to work, ok son we shall meet later) he said with a laughter
She calls me from a distance, “RamSingh”!!
I wake up from my thoughts with a jerk as I hear my name!
I walk up to her, as she looks miffed as usual. She asks me to follow her.
I feel that things are pretty slow in this town or am I just too fast for these people? None the less, I can’t wait for what this girl has in store for me!
Hum Kaha jaa rahe hai? (Where are we going?) I ask.
Aapke kaam ke pass (To your work), she replied with that miffed up attitude.
Magar apko kaise pata ki mujhe?… (But how do you know that I…?)
She turned around like a furious tornado with the snow below engulfing my feet with her avalanche,
Dekho Ramsingh, mujhe tere se zyadda akal hai, tere pass na hai paisa ya ghar! Mein apni chacha ke tara dildaar nahi hoon, samjha!? Apna kaam kar aur humare pass matt ana! (See Ramsingh, I have more brains then you, you have no money or home; I am not like my generous Uncle understand!? Do your work and don’t come near us!)
I was left dumbfounded and I had nothing to say, I was not angry, I was rather perplexed!
I followed her, it was a pretty long walk and we both kept our distances.
I came across a series of shops, a shop for plumbing, a shop for electricity, a shop for carpentry, a shop for furniture, food, butchers, and artisans. This was a place of hard labor and duty and honor, it was shops on the left and right, as I walked down the street; fiery sparks flew in from the right while the wood dust would be hurled from the left, people arguing for cheaper rates, a bunch of old timers having a nice time over some tea brought by the tea boy, youngsters in love buying all kind of trinkets such as earrings and rings, little boys and girls running about under the feet of the elders playing running and catching, the heart of the town I guess; would I be working here?
The answer was no! We crossed the heart and I guess she was sending me to the anus!
We got on a ride, a buggy where we had to climb small hills, we were sitting on the edge as the back was filled with hay, and she was looking at the other side while I was admiring her and the beautiful scenery. A mixture of colors of green and white with small brown wooden cottages with trees as their boundary walls, I was left in awe! My town was the complete opposite with buildings and pollution. This was paradise.
The buggy stopped and she gave him a coin and we were off to one of them cottages. Before we were going to go our separate ways I wanted some information, since it was quite even my murmur would be heard, so I said:
She turned around like a tornado again and asked “Kya hai?”
Tyaar naam kya cha? (What is your name?)
Kyu ki humare raste alag hai mein tumhara naam jaanna chahata hoon…
She stood still, she had that miffed face and she was staring at me as if I asked her to remove her clothes!
To Be Continued…