Just last week, I indulged in something I find extremely boring and a sheer waste of time and money. Shopping! Now, that I am employed, I need to get a nice wardrobe, so says amma...I cant go like just some girl who cares a damn about what she is wearing...Like they are paying me for what I am wearing...
Shopping on commercial street on any street for that matter is more difficult than rocket science. I am dying of hunger, while amma shops for me, suit material...When hunger is coupled with boredom and that too me being the victim, its a pretty sad state of affairs. I begin to show extreme disinterest in all those mannequins, all bald and beautifully dressed.
My eyes spot an american corn seller, I tell ma, I will be back in a while, she has this 'where to' expression on her face and I say "pasikaradu" (meaning, am hungry) she says fine lets go.
Lets go?? I thought I was hungry. Never mind...
So then, we buy corn. She sweeps the cup clean, faster than a tendulkar (ok sad pun on sweep), as I struggle with the spoon which is smaller than a key hole. I sit on the side walk, opposite the Favourite shop (50% off, hurry) amma reads the last word and rushes in...
I make myself comfortable on the side walk, which is already occupied. And then I spot him..
Clad in a pink banian and faded jeans, he sat in style, like he always does...
oh oh jaane jaana playing in my head, I offer him the residue of my corn, he replies in Tamil
"Neengal sapudunga" (you eat)
MT: Tamil epudi teriyum? (how do u know tamil)
SK: Learnt it, worked in several places, I am a fast learner.
MT: Oh cool! So then you must have understood everything I spoke to ma.
SK: Definitely! I dint show it, I am a silent observer, and a good actor.
MT: oh of course.
SK: Where are you from?
MT: I am from Delhi. ( safest bet)
SK: Oh I have been to delhi, Its a beautiful place.
MT: yes yes. ( I was already impressed)
SK: I think you should go now, your mom is already inside.
MT: Thats ok. Anyway she wouldn want someone who doesn offer any help with either the clothes or the cash. what brings you here?
SK: I came with a friend, he is just taking a round, will be here any minute.
MT: Oh cool! I wanna meet him.
SK: Iam not sure if u will like him.
MT: Why not?
SK: Lets see...
Time out... Friend doesnt appear on the scene and I realise its time that I went into the not-so-favourite-shop.
SK suddenly jumps, "Ah there he is"... I have this notion of some tall guy, with long hair, I witness, a man, well over twenty, using his legs for his hands... Begging...
The person I was talking to was in no way ordinary. He had accompolished a lot, his eyes showed a rare determination, a zest and the immediate need to set things right. I was in awe.
I asked him out of curiosity: what is your name?
"Salman Khan" he said.
I have never seen a more confident smile.
" Not the actor" he added, as an after-thought.
I smiled. wished him luck. " Thanks Akka"
Took his friend and walked away to an uncertain future.
While I stood there, telling myself, shopping is not such a bad deal after all!
Oh Oh jaane jana......