Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Holy Perspective Aravani!

A year (and a little more) of travelling to Versova every day has meant that I exchange pleasantries, small talk and big, fat grins with a lot of people en route. Like the take out guys at Mc Donalds who watch sympathetically as I cuss at auto wallahs refusing to give me a ride or the watchman at the UTI ATM who looks like he might kick the bucket any minute or the TC who fits the image of a 'Khurana Uncle' with his neatly oiled hair, crisp white shirt and gutkha stained teeth.

And finally, the pretty eunuch at the signal who greets me with a 'Haay, haav aar you?' and follows it up with a, 'Naashta kiya?' almost every day.

The other morning as my auto halted a little longer than usual, I was allowed a few more minutes of conversation with her. (I say ‘her’, because I once watched a documentary about the Aravanis from Andhra and how they prefer to be referred to as female, so I applied the same logic here.)

She: (sticks her head into the auto and places her hand on my bag) Naashta kiya?Haay!
Me: (as I handed her loose change) Haan kiya
She: Kahaan jaa rahey ho?
Me: Offiss!
She: Offiss jaa rahe ho aap?
Me: Aap kahaan rehtey ho?(Pointing in the direction of the station) Yahan?
She: No! Hum Sion koliwada.
Me: Haan? Itnee door?
She: Kya karein? Karna padta hai.
Just then our conversation was interrupted by crazy bellowing horns, which in Bombay terms means the green light is on and traffic is finally moving.
She: Okseeyou Madam!
Me: Bye!

Consequently, my rickshah driver got back to navigating through traffic, my Aravani got back to standing under the traffic signal waiting for it to turn red, and I started feeling like a total uptown retard for complaining relentlessly about traveling for an hour everyday to get to work* irrespective of the fact that I would be greeted by nice people, smashing ideas, an air conditioner, several lunch boxes and a wide, open terrace.

And so, once again, I decided to stop complaining**.

Because c'mon, it hardly gets any worse than living at Sion Koliwada. In a colony of eunuchs. Travelling by the Central line. Then coming to work. To beg. For a livelihood. Raised to infinity.

*In 3 different modes of transport, mind you! ... Whaaa? I had to mention it because I'm still very accepting of pity looks and points.

**Let's see how long this lasts. I'm working with a 40 day time frame.

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