A Day well spent

My inner reading demons were awakened by TGND post on the Kitabi street. When you can get a book for 20 Rs then that is a steal rite?
With steely heart and firm determination I set forth in my mission of going to Daryaganj resisting MIL’s tempting offer of cooking together vengaaya pulikolambu( when onion prices are so dear) with steaming rice and vadaam for lunch.The dark clouds in the sky forecasted a rainy day.But who can stop paatiamma with a steely will..So with an umbrella and a BIG bag I set forth accompanying the partner hospital is located in the parallel road of Daryaganj.See how luck favors me?? ūüėČ

After the 40 min metro journey and 10 min rickshaw ride the moment I placed my foot down on the Kitabi street, (like a shy coy bride entering into a new house)the sky burst out tears celebrating home coming!! Frantic book sellers started opening big plastic sheets on top of their precious wares.

The partner was still lingering around with a shade of doubt if I would be able to deal with delhi rains all alone. He was shooed off to his Sunday rounds at the hospital willing by¬† my eager self with umbrella in hand and hungry look in eyes. Rain or storm true love of books withstand anything that comes in between.Luckily there was a Delite cinema’s complex on whose porch where hundreds of books lined by different vendors.And I gorged them with my eyes..

Archies slyly read on the pretext of browsing..A jeffery Archer quoted 250 Rs by one vendor got for a meagre 40 Rs from another. An old 1980 version of a russian tale (Translated in English Of course!) with lovely packaging got for mere 1oo Rs.A Wodehouse for a light hearted read bargained from 150 Rs to 50 Rs.Whoa it was heaven.A best seller picked up for just 20Rs. To tell the truth..I was barely aware that it was raining cats dogs and elephants and almost causing a flood…The partner who would rarely pick a call at work called 2 times to enquire if every thing was fine. Ijust gave a cursory look at the roads, ignored the rain water that even slashed on the books in display!

Here I display my steal..

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Am not going to stop boring you my lovely people!! Yes after my looting was over my growling stomach needed respite. I lingered the same porch and accidentally stepped into a beer shop mistaking it for a coffee shop..It must have been a side effect of being too much engrossed in book world. Luckily before that leering uncle offered me help in choosing drinks I did fast walking better than what I did in that race in college and bumped into a huge glass door with a decorative sign board “Bhaja Govindham ” restaurant.With my dishevelled and muddy clothes ( Well these are minor prices one pays to browse books on a platform a muddy rainy day)I cross checked twice with the security if that imposing place is really a restaurant. Being assured I opened the door only to be invited by a lovely tanjore painting in the lobby.The interior decor is a replica of the karaikudi style pillars with sloped roofs jutting from the ceiling.This along with the few chandeliers,yellow lights wooden table and porcelin cutlery was quite a pleasure to the eyes. I plonked into the first available table for two.After considerable research I narrowed down hot mixed pakoras and filter kaapi for lunch.For a reasonable 90 Rs the quantity of pakoras was pretty filling.

The partner then joined and we went pallika bazaar..Yeah..the underground bazaar famed for its duplicates.Original or duplicate I got 3 Tee shirts, 2 track pants and a lovely slipper for a princely some of 1000 Rs. Now you see my friends am that poor thing that has easy access only to malls where
god knows why a  plain T shirt is sold for 600 Rs fixed price.Bargaining was simply a pleasure here!!Quote 1/5 th price the product is sold and then huff and puff and walk away.The fellow will readily give away your prize at the price which it is asked for!

If there was heaven on earth..This is it..This is it!!Of course am planning to haunt this place even more often!!God save the paatiamma!!

 

It is now exactly a year..

Today is celebrated as Aadi peruku in South India. It is believed to be a day to pay respect to our ancestors and the eldest surviving in¬†the family does the necessary pooja¬†Incidentally it is the day my FIL’s father passed away as well. Though it is generally not recommended to move into a new place in the month of Aadi this particular day is an exception. Today as I drape the maroon and gold silk cotton saree presented by my Mom before we make the visit the temple marking this auspicious day I remember that I have worn that only once before and it was this day exactly a year back for the house warming ceremony of this hole!

The impressions of a place from my perspective is by how positive the experiences we gain from the city. It is largely affected by the relationship we have with the people whom we interact on daily basis rather than the quality of life enjoyed in material terms. And overall my impression of Gurgaon are some that I will cherish till I have to replace my tooth with dentures.

Be it the neighbour of this hole or the cubicle mate at office the people whom I have met made a non-Hindi speaking ME feel at home.

РThe Bengali aunty next door turned out to be a wonderful companion to MIL. She was always ready with tips on how to face the extreme weather conditions or where to get veggies cheap. Many a days they have demonstrated their cooking prowess to each other by exchanging plateful of tasty food quickly polished of by my highness. 

-The hole actually turned out to be a snug place during extreme weather conditions. Despite not being aesthetically comforting it is a snug place be it on raging cold winters or merciless summers.

-The partner and I celebrated the second anniversary of enduring each other successfully and that marked a much greater understanding of each other as it was celebrated the way I liked- with an  discotheque ice skating session in Ambience mall with me ungraciously falling down every fifteen minutes. Partner was there every time I fell down to pull me up back to erect posture despite multiple attempts of being pulled down by me as well. This itself gave me assurance of the stability of our marriage.

-My office mates require special mention. I look forward every Monday morning coz of the way they make me feel at home at workplace. Never even once was I made feel as an outsider despite not knowing the language that they speak. A wave of shame passes through me as I pen down these lines as I know how I could not accept people from  different culture while I was in my home town or Chennai. I would be definitely writing more about them in the days to come,

-Living with in-laws turned out to be more comfortable. Sometimes I shake my head trying to find real goodness in people when we don’t have anything material¬†to give back. I realized how a earning bahu is treated given much more freedom, choice and voice¬†.

– The vulgar display of the rich, the show it is all a part of Gurgaon-for we can witness it in a weekend hang out in any of the towering malls.

-The struggle and helplessness of the daily labourers , the rickshawallas , the maids, the car cleaner, those as well are omnipresent- for it is seen in the glint of jealously and resignation to fate in their eyes.

– When we came to Gurgaon I knew that the goal was to earn. We thrift every penny except for the mandatory trips that we make south and the occasional hangouts that we do in the little precious time we get together as a family.

So goes on life. Thank you Gurgaon for helping me grow as a person with self confidence and compassion!

My weekend Stress Buster

My weekend Stress Buster

Life is indeed pretty hectic with work and home demanding attention.. Madhubani Art keeps me engaged during weekends.This is a small piece of work I did for a photo album for the partner’s friends new born. Writing and reading is still first love..It has taken a back seat as I know that when I read or write I get oblivous of what is happening in the real world..Atleast art is my temporary ticket to fantasy with a time frame.