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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tea party in the park

The sandwiches were nice -  sinfully well buttered , with a hint of mint . I had just taken my first bite when aunty B sidled up and whispered in my left ear if  one had heard of the robbery at number 148. One had but in the process of nodding yes ( remember the buttery bite in the mouth !)  landed up shaking a no . The next ten minutes were devoted to listening to the 'inside' story of the big heist.  It took so much time because the Chopras from # 24 and the Aggarwals from # 40 and the... had also joined in and there seemed to be no dearth of 'inside' information. The story had reached a very interesting juncture - was it an 'inside ' ( not to be confused with the earlier 'inside') job or was it an 'outside' job. Just to keep the facts straight,  Mrs. C felt  it  was-  " it always is"  as opposed to Mrs A who gave mysterious looks and kept muttering something about " one of these days"-  when  the potato fingers were  served ( with green chutney and ketchup). All the inside and outside talk had left everyone hungry and the fries were consumed with great gusto. The colony park had nicely filled up and a lot of time was spent in throwing a 'hello' here and a 'namastey' there. The group in front was discussing whether Sehwag was an 'is' or a 'has been' and the group at the back ( mostly made up of first time voters) was making a programme for the coming sunday. The group I was now sitting with was exchanging notes on tutors and maids and the absolute dearth of good and dependable tailors.

By now tea and coffee had been  served and  bursts of laughter mingled with the clink of cutlery and the well bred voices of the bridge players. S ( from 123)  was regaling us with some juicy 'khabar' when  the harsh  notes of a loudspeaker intruded the party in the park. Everyone stopped talking and eating and laughing. The loudspeaker seemed to be coming nearer and nearer. Puzzled glances were exchanged - a loudspeaker inside the colony'?  A white car , fitted with the loudspeaker, screeched to a halt. This was followed by many more white cars which all screeched to a halt.  Doors burst open and  disgorged a sea of white kurta pyjamas .

 I looked with approval at the man in front. He  was just so humble. He had folded his hands even before entering the park. Most of the kurta pyjamas also had folded hands. Just then  a man with a very hoarse voice shouted ( hoarsely) " Jeete ka bhai jeete ga; raju bhai jeete ga'. 

We all agreed later on that it was very unfortunate for Raju bhai that the park emptied within five minutes of his arrival. After all it wasn't his fault that he was two hours late ;  or that he did not apologize for keeping everyone waiting- after all  the junta should learn to be patient  ; or that he
had no answer to old Mr K's question about where he had been these last five years  !

I dunno if Raju bhai got the feel and hang of things the same way that those present did - that the party was well and truly over-   both inside and outside the park.