RICKSHAWS,BUSES & MARATHI%#!@$%

MUMBAI WHERE YOU HAVE A GOOD MIX OF PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE…MAHARASHTRIANS OBVIOUSLY, TAMILIANS RATHER “SOUTH-INDIANS” LIKE ME,GUJJUS,”NORTH-INDIANS” etc ; THE MAIN ASPECT OF SURVIVAL IS HOW WELL CAN YOU CONVERSE WITH YOUR BUS CONDUCTOR OR RICKSHAW-DRIVER TO MAKE YOUR DESTINATION CLEAR TO THEM!?!

THIS ORDEAL FOR A TAMILIAN BEGINS RIGHT AT THE START OF THE DAY , “EVERYDAY!! GOING TO COLLEGE RUSHING DOWN THE BUILDING STAIRS,TUMBLING SOMETIMES,SCROLL AND SHEETS IN HAND , I WOULDN’T HAVE TIME TO EVEN COMB HAIR OR DRESS PROPERLY AT TIMES[RATHER MOST OF THE TIMES]. YOU HAVE TO RUN WHEN YOU SPOT A RICKSHAW AND YELL AT YOUR HIGHEST PITCH WITHOUT BOTHERING ABOUT ANYTHING BECAUSE YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY LATE AS USUAL AND THE GUARD AT THE COLLEGE GATE WOULDN’T LET YOU GET IN LATE. VERY SOON ENOUGH YOU WILL REALIZE YOU WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD AND MAYBE YOU JUST YELLED INTO SOMEONE’S EARS OR FACE.ALL EYES ON YOU,YOU STILL HAVE TO RUSH AS TIME ISN’T WILLING TO MOVE SLOW WHEN YOU WANT IT TO THE MOST![WHICH OTHERWISE WILL TRICKLE DOWN WITH GREAT DIFFICULTY WHEN YOU TRYING TO AVOID SOME LECTURE AND TAKE A NAP].

NOW I FINALLY GET A RICKSHAW,EITHER THAT SHALL BE PRE-OCCUPIED OR THAT GUY UNWILLING TO LEAVE YOU TO YOUR CHOICE OF DESTINATION; ARGUING WITH HIM RIGHT IN THE MORNING IS LIKE AN IDEAL START TO THE DAY. WE rikshaw.jpg HAVE A PRACTICE IN PLACE I STAY, THE RICKSHAWS HAVE METERS THAT THEY WOULD NEVER USE… WHEN YOU REACH THE BUS STOP, HERE COMES IT ………….MARATHI!!

LIKE IT IS MANDATORY I MAKE AN EFFORT TO SPEAK IN MARATHI LIKE”THAMBA” AND “HO” JUST MAKE HIM FEEL I’M ONE OF HIS CLAN HOPING HE WOULDN’T CHARGE MORE.

IF THIS DOESN’T WORK FINALLY STRATEGY IS TO FOLD TWO TEN RUPEE NOTES IN SUCH A WAY THAT MAYBE HE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE OUT THAT THERE AREN’T THREE NOTES AND  BEGIN A MARATHON JUST AFTER GIVING THE FOLDED “AAFAT”!!

NEXT COMES THE BUS?! I GET IN,

CONDUCTOR-“BOLA”[SAY]

ME-“DON LP DYA.”[TWO TICKETS FOR L.P STOP]

CONDUCTOR-” CHOBVEES”[I NEVER UNDERSTAND HIS DIALECT]

ME-RETURN TO HINDIIIIII!!! ” KYA ,KITNA?”[WHAT,HOW MUCH?]

CONDUCTOR- “24 RS DO” [HINDI…..SOME AMOUNT]

AND THERE IT IS ….KHACHRAAA!!! WASTE OF ALL THE FRAMING OF SENTENCES ,THEN RE-FRAMING,THEN HESITATION TO SPEAK,THEN ACTUALLY SPEAK. HE KNOWS I DON’T KNOW MARATHI. AND LET ME TELL YOU,THIS IS A “PRESTIGE ISSUE”, WHERE YOUR MAHARASHTRIAN FRIENDS WOULD TAUNT AS TO HOW BEING IN MUMBAI FOR ALL YOUR LIFE YOU HAVEN’T LEARNT MARATHI,YOU ALSO STUDIED IT??[AS IF THEY EVER LEARNED TAMIL STAYING WITH ME ALL THIS WHILE :-P]

ALSO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AT COLLEGE AND CLASSES WILL MAKE SURE THEY CONVERSE WITH YOU IN MARATHI, AND BY CHANCE YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ANY OF THOSE ALIEN ATOMIC BOMBS, “BANG!!” THEY WILL TRANSLATE IT FOR YOU IN HINDI, JUST FOR YOU!

I HAVE SUFFERED A THOUSAND EMBARRASSMENTS AD HEART BREAKS LIKE THOSE 😥

BUT AFTER ALL AFTER SO MANY YEARS ,THIS CITY AND ITS NATIVE FOLK HAVE GIVEN OUT PURE LOVE AND AN OPEN HEART WELCOME…… COULDN’T THANK THEM MORE..  ❤

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