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)


Anonymous said...

Interesting Observation. I am going with the "Sharing with the wife story. If it were for his grandchildren, he would chose that over palak. Thats grandparents for you. :)

Ugich Konitari said...

...."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. ....."

He knew he had to stop at the chemist on the way back. His diabetes and medications. It was either those or ....

But just once, today only, he felt like seeing the beaming faces of his grandkids, when he would surprise them with chocolates, as they stopped by on their way home from school. After all, they were his real tonics....and at his age, the real meds could wait.

Onkar said...

Very interestingly narrated, whatever be the reason.

Swaram said...

:) The description of that smile made me smile too!

Suranga, that is so touching!

lopa said...

.....for the neighbor's kids.

Pradip Biswas said...

This is version II of the famous ad for this product.
He opened this Chocko bar and stoodd outside.
An young girl appeared and asked" may I take a bite" The old man was amused. 30 years before he did the same thing and his love story began. But now it is too late for Version II love story. Anyway he repeated the same question what his would be girl friend asked
" Do I Know You"
" No"
" I am going to start a Subh-Kaam.My boss Mam said Subh-Kaam ke Pahle..."
The old man gave her a piece and said " May i know what is that Subh-Kaam"
" May I leave you...."
His heart now really thumped, the girl continued " It will take a minute at your residence to sign this senior citizen Medi-claim form"

magiceye said...

to give them to the neighbouring kids who come home to play with him and listen to his stories :)

Pesto Sauce said...

I guess what made him happy and smile was that those chocolates would make some loved ones happy

Chiniiz n Sugarz Mom.. Swati said...

I guess he must have a limited budget and was not sure whether spending that money on someone's kids just coz they filled some of his hours in a week was justified enough?

Those kds might be his neighbours or just some random regulars at the park or relatives or grandkids..

Can i link to this post for a blog of mine?