It’s the month of June. Monsoon has started with episodes of light and heavy showers. People have resumed their routine after long may vacations. Schools and colleges are about to start. SSC results are out. Academic year has started. In our routine, some incidences make a deep impact. I remember one such incident.

One fine day, it rained heavily. It disturbed the schedule of railways in Mumbai. There was water logged in many places.we decided to bunk our college that day. Many were happy that they got a break from routine. I was one of them. I decided to take this opportunity and relish ‘vada pav’ and tea with some old friends of mine.

“Rain,vadapav with chai (tea) and old friends is great combination. Monsoons in Mumbai are incomplete without vadapav.”

We gathered at the stall nearby happy to meet after so many days. We don’t get such relax moments in our routine. Meeting old friends is a stress buster. We were chitchatting about our lives with steaming ‘adrak wali chai’ waiting desperately for our order.

Raju( boy in the shop) was frying Vadas, applying chutney to bread, taking order from stranded people, collecting money from customer, returning the change with oily, chutney claded hands in his daily synchronised manner. Rain didn’t affect his routine in anyway. Rather it increased his business. It was visible from a smile on his face. Owner would give him increment today.

” Raju bhaiyya jaldi Dena bhai hum log inse bhi pehle aye hai. ( make it fast, we have arrived before this people)” my friend said, seeing him handing over vadapav to two men who had just arrived. One of them was well dressed. Other one seemed to be a labourer.

” Haa didi de Raha hu ” , he said with calm voice.

” Bhai tikha chutney Dena” I said as he handed over the eatable.” Aapne unhe pehle kyu diya, hum regular customer hai aur unhone toh paisa bhi nahi diya”, I complained seeing that they both left without giving money.

“Didi ruko badme bolta hu aapko” he didn’t wanted that conversation to happen before his owner.

We left after eating with that spicy taste of garlic and ginger still on tongue.

Many days passed I had forgot this incident in daily routine.

Yesterday I accidentally met Raju when he was seen in the pathology lab where I happened to visit for work that day. I asked him why he was there.

” Didi, maa ko bukhar hai ek Hafte se, unko admit Kiya hai.unka khoon ka report Lene Aya.”

Blood report was not ready. They told him to wait for an hour.I talked with him for some time. Suddenly I remembered the incident from his shop. I asked him why did he gave free vadapav to both of them.

“Batata hu( I will tell)” he said and began to narrate.

(To be continued…)

– Optimist.

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