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Monday, February 3, 2020

Brown Sugar And The Olden Rage!


We had about ten minutes before joining the boarding queue. Although we had a good breakfast at the hotel the running-around packing, carrying/arranging the baggage and the fairly tedious taxi drive to the airport made us hungry again. The prices on board are exorbitant which means we will remain hungry for at least three hours before we reach our destination—not to mention one more tediously long taxi drive home, I reason. Therefore, we decided to have a quick bite; accordingly, leaving my wife with the bags I ran to a fast-food stall at the airport lounge.

I ordered two chicken puffs and a cup of tea: cannot pay so much for tea, and so one cup will have to provide the rudimentary sips for the two of us. After taking custody of the puffs and large paper cup of tea I looked around for the sugar sachets. I picked up a sachet, tore it up and as I started pouring it over the cup of tea I suddenly stopped. The contents that came down looked brown and I found the color suspicious: thought it could be some kind of spices. I threw the packet away, and finding another tray with other sachets picked up one, and to my satisfaction this time it was white and homely.

I was not aware of a customer standing alongside me. His words addressed to me made me look at him, found him to be a security or police person as he was in that khaki uniform.
He was saying to me, “Don’t throw that. This is brown sugar, and it is very good for you old guys—very healthy indeed!”
His expression ‘old chaps’ hit my eardrums with an absolutely adverse impact, and it made me angry instantly. How dare you call me old! However, I kept my decency; but I had a point to catch him off-guard, so I cried in feigned surprise.
“Brown sugar! How do you mean?”
“No, no! It is not that brown sugar! This, you know, is made of gud (jaggery) which is good for people even with diabetes. In your age you must know about this!”
“Yes, I do know. But I don’t like it with tea, I like the rosogollas made with gud, no doubt!” I neatly collected my precious items and left in a hurry—more to avoid speaking again to that ‘insulting’ personage than for the time constraint. As I was walking away with long strides I could still hear him commenting on various other sweets made with gud.

I rejoined my wife with a grave expression on my face, but this apparent oddity at that hour escaped her attention altogether as she was busy talking on her mobile. The serpentine queue at the boarding gate was already formed, and so we started attacking the puffs furiously while indulging occasionally in the limited sips available with the tea. All the while on this act I couldn’t help myself muttering within mouthfuls, ‘you loathsome fellow! Call me old, damn you! So openly, brazenly! Old will be thy father, not me, dude! Will see you when your time comes, it’d serve you well!”

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