Tuesday, December 23, 2008


In Baroda, we have these newsvendors who settle down on any platform they see, even under the banyan trees, and begin selling newspapers. One such guy sits in our area and I used to buy the IE(Ind Express) from him, while returning from my daily walks. On one of these days, when I reached his place, I heard this tete-a-tete between him and a lady: (It was all in Gujarati, of course)

Lady: You didn’t deliver the paper today.
NV(Newsvendor): Oh, I did. It fell into the ledge between the water tank and the wall.
Lady: But we did not get the paper today.
NV: I told you, I delivered it, but it fell in the ledge between the water tank and the wall.(With a small gesticulation)
Lady: But I did not get it.
NV: (Stands up now)..it fell in the ledge between the water tank and the wall(With bigger gesticulations, now, to demonstrate the wall and the tank)
Lady: Oh,ok..*seems about to turn, but doesn’t*..oh, there’s no-one there.
NV: *Again shows the space between tank and wall by gestures*..just go there with a stick and take it out.
Lady: *again seems to be about to turn, and doesn’t*..oh, but where will I find a stick?

At this juncture, I was about to offer to pay for a new copy for her paper, so that I could get my paper and move on, but, the guy suddenly relented and said ‘ Ok, I will come in half an hour and take the paper out myself.’ And, the matter was resolved, with the lady going away, still looking a bit doubtful.
‘I can’t sleep at night, and during daytime, I feel sleepy’. And, he lets out a huge yawn, and, I saw his eyes going droopy at the same time. Now, I wouldn’t mind this dialogue coming from anyone else, but, if a taxi driver on the Main Shk Zayed Road says this, when he’s going at 80 kmph, it’s certainly cause for alarm. I immediately said, a bit more loudly than required’ Oh, I understand’. And saw his eyes flicker a bit better.

Well, anyway, so, the conversation veered around to the current pink slips phenomenon and he says ‘From Company A, they have removed 15000 people’, ‘From Company B, they have removed 7000 people’- I asked him how he knew these details. And, he says, ‘Well, Company B’s foreman was my previous passenger and Company B’s manager was in the taxi yesterday.’

And, he went on about how things keep worsening in the world, how the weather changes in Dubai, how taxis no longer have to pay salik(toll) and how much trouble it was for him to convince customers earlier, how traffic has suddenly reduced a bit in Dubai since the last month and so on. And, me being the patient listener and, of course, most interested in ensuring he did not fall asleep, just ensured he kept his eyes open till we reached my office.

Amazing, na, how much news one can gather from such unusual sources.
Thought for the day: Words are a heavy thing...they weigh you down. If birds talked, they couldn't fly.-- Sy Rosen and Christian Williams, Northern Exposure, On Your Own, 1992
Joke for the day: An old gentleman slowly approached the local brothel and pressed the doorbell. The madam opened the door, looked at the old fellow with a critical eye and then asked. "What can we do for you, sir?" "I need a
girl," the senior citizen said. "For you, the charge is a hundred dollars." "You're putting me on," he exclaimed. "That will be an extra ten dollars," said the madam.


austere said...

Auto fella, taxifella- amazing the stuff one learns from them- just amazing.

So our citizen saved 4 bucks- poora paisa vasool. She would have deducted from boni for sure.

D said...

Hahaha... yeah it's true... you can learn a lot from taxi drivers especially if they're the chatty types...

And a taxi doing only 80km/h instead of their mandatory 139km/h??? Shocking!!!

Arunima said...

ha ha, they have a lot of information and most of the time, it is the truth.

well, I wish you'd have put up a bigger picture in your profile.