Friday, September 30, 2011


When I'm out of my home, I'm usually very un-observant. Too engrossed in my mental cobwebs.

Sometimes, though, I look around with eyes open. And see some person at some particular moment which gives me a glimpse of a back-story. A history. A lifestory.

Let me explain.

The other day I was at the neighbouring Sahakari Bhandar, a local departmental store where you can get groceries and other stuff at reasonable rates. I always go with a list (rice, wheat, oil, sugar...) but I always overshoot the list (adding 'Buy 1 Get 1 Free' and '30% Off' and 'Offer of the Day' stuff to my cart).

As I was standing in the queue at the cash counter an elderly gentleman, rather doddery and dressed in a manner that novelists usually describe as 'shabby gentility', came up to stand behind me. He had a shopping basket, not a trolley, to hold his meagre purchases - a bunch of 'palak', some brinjals, a broom and a (very economical) tooth-paste.

I saw him looking wistfully at the nearby rack stacked with chocolates. Hesitating, as the queue inched forward, looking away, and then yearningly looking again. Finally, he made up his mind. And reached out with a slightly shaking hand to put TWO SMALL DAIRY MILK WOWIE BARS in his basket. With a happy smile that made my day.

Immediately, sentimentally, I imagined his story. He was a loving grandfather buying treats for his grandchildren on their weekly/monthly visit to his home.

Or maybe it was a treat to be shared at with his fluffy white-haired plump-cheeked wife.

Or maybe he was a diabetic...and this was a pure self-loving indulgence in a forbidden pleasure.


Image Courtesy: (Google Images)