Angrezi Babu

Writing

So I would like to just start off by saying that I have only very recently started using public transportation (Shameful, I know) so my interactions and experiences with the autowalla’s are fairly limited to ‘Bhaiya ____ jane ka kitna loge?’ and the usual bargaining that ensues after they give you an absurdly high price (“Bhaiya GK jaane ka 100rs? hum toh roz 60 main jaate hain. Theek theek lagao ya meter se chalo”) And the way they either stay silent the whole ride or curse and mutter under their breath about how pathetic traffic is, so the following experience was quite a surprise.

I usually have to walk till the gate of my colony to flag down an auto so I set out 10 minutes earlier than I had to leave for class to do just that, as I usually do, when I found an auto passing my house and flagged it down thanking anything and everything that was up there. I asked how much he would take and the first thing he said to me was “Didi, hum meter se chalte hain” (I go by the meter) which anyone living in Delhi would understand, is not as common as it should be. I got on, expecting another mundane, boring ride and regretting not bringing my earphones along, when he said something that struck me at that moment as a bit funny.

“What road do you want to take?”

This isn’t a direct translation, these are his exact words, although a bit hard to decipher with his this accent.

“Any, Bhaiya”

“That’s not an answer beta, no road is a problem you must have a preference na? You must give one answer, no road is problem for me” He said with the amused lit one has when scolding a naughty child.

“__ road is good, bhaiya”

“Good! good!”

After which he proceeded to ask me what I was studying, what I was planning on studying (“US beta?”) and on telling him I was planning on studying in Canada, went “Toronto is quite big no? bigger than Delhi?” and went on to ask if I had family there and how mass media generates a lot of money these days. Thoroughly impressed at this point not just because of his English, but also his general knowledge, my curiosity got the best of me as it generally does.

“Your English and General Knowledge is quite good bhaiya..”

I was not prepared for what he said next, and I paraphrase a little:

“I read English newspapers every single day, beta. My community is quite illiterate,  most of them haven’t been educated so they disapprove of anyone that tried to pursue a good education. They don’t support me, so I can’t call for the English newspapers to my house. My neighbor is a judge, so everyday at 6 when I get off work I change my clothes and go to his house to read his newspaper. My wife is not educated and is surrounded by women that just want to watch serials on TV, so there’s nothing I can do about her. It all depends on the ‘enbiorment’ (environment) na? But I put my children in school.” He replied, smiling to himself.

“The young baccha’s these days go to college and school but have no interest in it. So many times I try to speak to them in English and they say no, we are comfortable speaking Hindi only.” Cue exasperated head shake and tch tch sounds.

“I want to practice my English, its all about practice na?”

“Yes, bhaiya.”

We spoke at length of what he could do to improve, how the youth can improve, corruption and things in general where he would thank me for correcting his dictation and pronunciation . It may not seem like a big deal, but I know those 15 minutes were important for his growth, and our development as a society starts with them. It starts with their growth and their ability to acknowledge and recognize just how important education and being an over all good citizen is.

That day I got off the auto with a new perspective and a renewed sense of hope, and he got off at 6 to head off to read the English newspaper with a few extra bucks and a little more practice.

“I want to be a rich man” He said, “and I’m taking the steps necessary to achieve that goal”.

And I have no doubt that you will, Angrezi Babu, I have no doubt that you will.

Him

Writing

I watch him touch her arm, a gentle, soft caress. She looks at him with that familiar, tender look in her eyes, the one that was once reserved only for me. I watch the way she brushes his hair out of his eyes, a brush of skin, nothing more. The way he smiles a little at the contact makes my heart twist. Clench. Ready to explode. He leans into her warmth, and she holds him closer, tighter. Their bodies melding into one. Nothing else matters, nothing else exists. Not the people rushing around, smiling at the moment they’re sharing together, the isolated emotion, not the sounds, the smells or anything in between or beyond. Her eyes are fixed on him, shining with unshed tears of pure love and joy. Content. She is content next to him, with him nearby. Her heart is finally at peace after all the pain she went through, with me, to reach this point. He shuffles a bit in her embrace, catching and twisting a lock of her ebony hair. I watch as a soft laugh escapes her beautiful lips, the way her hand comes up to hold his wrist and I feel another tug at my heart. Somebody brushes past me, causing me to take a step forward, towards her; them. She looks away from the boy. She was always so beautiful, her features so serene, even without the shadows and liners she insisted on putting on. Her face was bare, today. But she didn’t need anything. We lock eyes. Her cheeks flushed a rosy pink, her coffee coloured eyes bright and round in surprise. Every emotion I feel is mirrored on her face, words need not be spoken. I stare at her, shamelessly. He shifted again, calling her attention back to him, she looked away from me hastily. He wrapped himself around her, content with finally having gained her attention and I saw another soft smile erupt on her face. Another tug. And then, she looked at me, beckoning me forward, into their private little moment. I stared at him, stunned. He was so at peace with her, as I always was, and I wanted nothing more to leave, but I wasn’t sure if I should. She studied my perplexed state, beckoning me forward once more. Someone brushed past me once again, snapping me out of my reverie, and I walked slowly towards them. He turned to me, sensing my presence. A set of familiar eyes looked back at me. I sucked in a breath. We stared at each other for a moment, unmoving, unblinking. The tugging now stronger than ever. The link between us smiled and shifted.

And then,

I held my son for the first time.

It’s my first time writing anything like this, and I really hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you would like to see me write anything similar to this in any way again, or have any feedback or comments at all, please do feel free to let me know. Thankyou for reading!

Editing Credits: Akash Ricky Chakraborty 

Check out his blog, he’s amazing. 

https://rickywastaken.wordpress.com/

Starting a blog

Uncategorized

Let me start off by saying that I am in no way, shape or form, a ‘blogger’. Until a while ago (well, day before) I didn’t even know what you’re supposed to do with one. What do you put in it? How often do you update? What is it about? Does it need to be cared for like your first born child?… No? alright then.

Basically, I knew nothing.

And then, my cousin happened.

She’s 8 years elder, 300 times smarter and an artist and avid blogger herself. Call it luck or intuition, but when she saw a post on how to make a blog, she automatically thought of showing it to me. Honestly? I had no interest at first. I didn’t have time for such trivial, mainstream things, I was too busy eating and procrastinating while simultaneously worrying about my work not being done and getting in trouble.

That is until I actually READ the post. That’s when the whole blog idea actually started to set in and play around in my head. I’ve always been a writer (not a very good one, but I try) and a huge foodie. Dance is my first and only love, and not many other people understand that, so I thought.. why not? Why not start something I can do at my own leisure while also sharing my interests and expressing myself through something I’m on 24/7 anyways? The internet is a magical place, its my turn to spread some unicorn magic around.

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3 hours and a LOT of brainstorming (and snack munching) later, here I am. Writing this little summery while munching on the chocolate cookies that we decided to bake a couple of hours ago. (They were worth all the effort ohmygod)

Well, here’s hoping that this works out for me!