After we finished eating, he gave a 50-rupee note to the puchkawala. He was told that there was no change. He went to the kulfi stall close by and showed the man the note, and made a sign with his hands to ask for change. It was something like a cutting motion. On receiving the change, he smiled and nodded with gratitude. He came and paid the puchkawala and walked away. The man was mute. Not shy, not snobbish. Mute. Special. Lucky, in his own way. I thought about people on my walk home and looked at those who passed me. I realized that enough and more can be said by sign language, through gestures, through the eye, through hand movements. If something has to be communicated, there will always be a way.
Sep 21, 2010
I stood there devouring the puchkas. He came there when I was halfway through the first plate and stood next to me. A thirty-something man with a checked shirt and formal pants. He might have been craving those puchkas since morning but had been stuck at office. There was an eagerness to him. His eyes probably met the puchkawala's for he was given a plate to hold. I told the puchkawala that I wanted one more plate of those delicious, sinful round puffed puris with the potatoes and spices and the seemingly dirty but excellent pani. I saw the man next to me turn to look at me and seem to be shocked. A girl's appetite is not supposed to allow 2 plates of puchkas is probably what he thought. We started getting the puchkas on our plate. After the first one, the man pointed to the water container. In his next one, he got a puchka with much more water. I was oddly fascinated and I think it showed, because he looked at me and frowned. I frowned as well, but more because of confusion than anything.
Posted by Rohini at 8:34:00 AM