A half closed shutter,
Pincer vegetarian foods.
Masala Green Tea
Hesitantly ordered “Kashmiri pulav?” I asked them if they would put in bananas or sticky fruits in them. I shared with him the horror of bananas and papayas in spicy fried rice being sold as kashmiri pulav and how my stomach responded to that “kashmiri pulav” to which he delicately laughed and said to trust in him.
I kept waiting meanwhile the autowala whom I’ve struck a deal has come up into the restro. The unusual Kashmiri Hindi accent. I offered him tea and he offered several words.
I remember to have lauding him endlessly for the amazing pulav, the mirchis that complimented the cloudy cheese, the carrots that give bugs bunny feel, carefully marinated dryfuits. Sympathizing how wrongly one can spoil the name of “kashmiri pulav” down south hogged the pulav slowly, completely.
Just as Zakir and I parted goodbyes late in the evening, I was thumbing up for lift back into the city for the chaos, “so much of silence and peace is not good for health”, told my conscience.
An old man ‘?’ ,A proud Kashmiri has responded to my thumbs up with a bag of clubs.
Usually I would play the insanely curious interviewer, but this time he shot me, with questions.
Right from my travelling, my reasons, my destinations and the papers in jacket.
On knowing I was free for the early evening, he asked if I want to watch a game of golf.
One of the golf course biggest in size and altitude.
Probably the loneliest game ever invented involving a lot of travel.
Hitting out of the park with the heaviest, strongest available club available and later search extensively to find it. Isn’t it what we do with ourselves sometimes?
Hurt ourselves knowing the obvious conclusions and later trying to heal ourselves?
The old man had the tongue of a gossiping aunt which never cease to flow.
He said holding the heaviest club positioning, swaying his bum in restricted angles,”I have all the comforts in the world. A home and a gypsy, a Wife and a issue.”
And there goes the first strike with the heaviest club that left a dubious thought, “is he imagining the poor innocent ball as his wife?.
When I complimented him of his nehruvian looks, he scoffed and said.. “I’d have been a much better looking PM”.
He told me later that I reminded him of his grandson abroad and how much they miss him around, wondering how career and life could harden one’s heart for their elders.
He is a young man trapped inside an old body. The old body and its package of apprehensions, sickness that restricts to live, eat, travel on his terms admiring the way i’m carrying myself through rich experiences.
He screechingly halted the gypsy saying in the middle of intense conversation buying flowers then calmly
saying singing, “apni mehbooba se milne khaali haath nahi aate”. Laughs erupted in the gypsy.
The mischievous child in him is still alive and the aunt grew older quicker than her silver hair. A cup of coffee, conversation with his saheba.
He stormed out of his home with a fight and has walked inside with an unusual pleasantry forgetting the past rift between them,
may be that’s how love works!!
I told them how stunning both were. A trip back to boulevard road with his driver, he was hesitant to leave his quiet house.The curious investigator is back with his questions with the shikaras around dal gate.
“What’s there in kargil? Why kargil. See book.. What is there.. See Kashmir.. Real Kashmir”,told the man who made my dinner.
This being the uncounted instance of the countless times I’ve been told “you cannot”, “not worth the effort”.
As if I listen!!
Its difficult, but there’s got to be a way out. The cattle has to move, people has to move, things are on move, why can’t I move?
“There is always a way out”, told my conscience.
Packed back the half bag, took ramzan bhai’s address and took leave for the day, waving goodbyes. Found out that the hotel’s name is Bombay Guest house”. the unusual mumbai connect, at least can you explain this my dear conscience.. ?
I realized how boringly philosophical I have become speaking to myself more than ever before. But isn’t it how conscience works ? Constantly deceiving mind to think of things that took-off, judge and have an opinion on every damn thing?
At the stroke of midnight, strolling on the dark lanes of dalgate road in search of a viable
safe transport to visit the most influential memory of childhood, a place of sacrifices and memorials. Back on the roads promoting “thumbs up!!” with a tagline “pick the thunder”.
Not knowing that a team of trolls were waiting for me in the east.