“What else…???”, he said.

It takes all sorts to make a world. And this phrase isn’t hard to believe at all if you have a fate like mine that you unintentionally, improbably end up meeting odd characters, everywhere. And yes, at times at the most bland, hence unexpected places – say, a mother dairy booth!

Now how much time does one spend at a mother dairy booth during a visit? And how much would you interact with anybody there that you end up writing a blog on them. Here I introduce to you the hero of my story – Mr. Weirdo – a seemingly shabby-looking, over animated, lanky, in his late 40s, spectacled mother dairy uncle – standing behind the counter, hence unfortunately, difficult to miss.

A few weeks back, on a usual evening my husband and I were driving back home from office, when over a regular struggle of what to have for dinner today, we realized that there are no eggs in the house. No eggs means we want to have eggs only! En route, we stopped at a mother dairy booth. This time my husband, who has been otherwise trained well to jump off the car whenever anything boring needs to be bought, got into a drama where he refused to step out and was clear that this time I go and buy eggs. I, trying hard to shrug off my general, perennial laziness, lackadaisically headed towards the counter and asked for eggs. Now, to anyone, does that sound unfitting?

To explain further, I go to the counter and ask Mr. Weirdo – “bhaiya ten eggs de do please.”

Weirdo’s response – “Hain?? Kya?

I – still patiently, “Bhaiya ten eggs.”

Weirdo – with that twitched face again, “Kya?

I – now irritatingly and slowly, “Bhaiya, dus ande de do.”

Weirdo – now suddenly possessed by some wandering British aatma – “Oh sure!”

What! What did he just say? Zapped and now feeling royally out of place, I stare at him with raised eye brows.

Oh sure! Did he really say that? And what’s with that accent? With these questions still racing in my head, I am brought out of my trance when he utters again, in the same freaking accent – “Forty rupees only!

I, dig for 40 bucks in my wallet. Hurriedly pay him. And while leaving say a quick thanks.

Response – Bye bye!

Reallyyyyy!!!! Bye bye! Did he really say that? Without turning back I ran to my car and sat quietly, trying to forget what just happened.

Scene 2: Another fight in the car when my husband wins yet again, and I have to step out of the car and buy yoghurt from… Guess Guess??? The same mother dairy!

Once bitten, twice shy! Yes, with this running like a promptor in my head, I reach the counter and in full desi accent – “bhaiya, ek packet dahi de do.” And this time, a conversation minus usage of please and any etiquette.

Don’t know why, but he recognizes me.

He turns to me, again getting possessed with this Brit spirit, opens his mouth only to say – “what?

I – “Suna nahi. Dahi, ek packet. De do.”

Weirdo – “Only one?”

I (in my head screaming, don’t play this English-Hindi game with me, you ass!)– “haanji!”

Weirdo – “Box or panni?”

Whatttt!!! Panni!!!! Really, Mr. Weirdo!

I, self-consciously, point towards the packet.

Now when I thought it was over. The Weirdo is back in form.

Now in slow motion, forgetting that there are 5 other people standing there watching this free drama and feeling all amused, Weirdo utters in great style, not only in accent but in posture too (with his arms spread wide on the counter) – “What else?”

Giggles by the on-lookers. Awkwardness enveloping me.

I (this time rudely) – “Nahi. Kuch nahi.” And dang! I do that mistake again!!! I say, thank you.

Weirdo – Bye bye!”

Ohhhh…. I wanna kill him! Wring his neck and get all those Brit juices out of him!

I run towards my car leaving behind entertained people and retarded but full of style milk uncle. I sit in my car silently for 2 minutes. And sign a deal – a deal that never will I go to this, or any other mother dairy booth again! Ever!

The Weirdo @ Mother Dairy!

The Weirdo @ Mother Dairy!

4 thoughts on ““What else…???”, he said.

  1. Aka- Fantastic because it takes me back to my Mother Dairy-daily-sojourn days!!
    And interestingly, if I may add, the people one meets everyday at the neighborhood MD are even more amusing. We have discussed/mocked/laughed at this before but for the benefit of other indiscernible readers of your blog, people thronging MD also have an all pervasive Delhi lingo. For instance the harmless packet of ‘Rusk'(which stays more inside than outside the tea cup) is inexplicably known as ‘Rus'(letter ‘k’ is not even silent, it is downright gobbled up inside the mouth before the word comes out), ‘Bun'(Harvest wale) are refereed to as ‘Bund'(yes you read it right, an extra ‘d’ added for better after-taste). And the list is endless!!

    Keep it up and whenever the background is Delhi’s mileu, I would shamelessly add on because I love the city too much!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great stuff Akku, your blog marks the different roles a person in the city takes on at different times. It also reminds me of my travels as a tour guide, I have to remind myself to take off my city masks to feel more grounded. Well, its a part of the change but I do sometimes feel weird, feeling like an outsider in my own country.


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