Another of the dies felicae… on a Wednesday II

I was telling you about this rather spiffy Wednesday I had this week. As I was writing about it on Thursday, I ran out of time and even  on Friday (April 23rd) , pressures of work and so on, kept me from returning to complete my account. It is only today, (Saturday) when I try to take forward the account  and complete it…. As I said, the delay has helped me give perspective to the happenings.

Well, I had got to the point where I had met my friend and we had sat to lunch. He announced his intention to stick to the salad buffet as he had a long day ahead and tried to convince me to stick to the a la carte menu… I decided to inspect the buffet before deciding but a cursory inspection revealed an interesting macaroni and sausage salad, which looked promising (and did turn out to be delectable given that peppy dressing it was in), the always popular Russian salad – and above all – my favourite by a long shot – tuna fish salad – there was no way and no power in this world which could take me away from it. I must note I found the raw papaya salad envigorating too…. with the hot weather we are having.

The conversation was on expected lines…. our favourite topics – books, culture, politics, organisations beginning with an H, and one more which I am not going to reveal. However, like all good things do, the lunch soon came to an end and I left for the second part of what I do on Wednesdays.

Well, nothing much secretive about it….. the trip to old Delhi in search of books, and interesting chat and to soak the atmosphere. However, this time, I made a slight miscalculation which caused some minor problems later… but I will come to it, in due course.

So I set out for old Delhi, using the trusty metro services. The crowd was horrendous and I used the old habit of letting the first crowded train go and wait for the second one. However, at length, I reached my destination… the Maktaba. However, after a little while, the lunch – though mostly of salads but nevertheless for a stomach unaccustomed to lunching for weeks and months now-  made me for a time feel queasy and unable to concentrate. For a momemnt, I wished like King Solomon of glorious legend, I had a ring – half-of brass and half of iron containing the great name of God and thus commanding the spirits of the wind, not to mention the jinns/genies/djinns. Either of these I could then command to carry me home so I could lie supine in my celebrated impression of a giant sloth. But it was not to be….. I had to smile and bear it…. keep a stiff upper lip (however, doing both at the same time was difficult because you see stiff lips won’t stretch horizontally……..You can try yourself to be sure but I would counsel you do it in front of a mirror in the privacy of your home or atleast where no one can see you… If you do it publicly, it might cause some alarm ). However, to get back to my story, I even revealed my state to Khusro sahab, lest he get perturbed over my fidgetting. 

Added to the unease – which thankfully soon passed – was the need to conserve funds – in view of the large demands to be made on the purse in the coming week and the fact that I had to pick up a book or two from my English bookseller (I told you about it in the previous post). However, I managed to find a couple that would not strain my resources as well as some magazines.

With one thing or the other, the chitchat and the unique customers who come, it was time for the shop to close when I left. As I emerged, I thought of buying some necessary supplies available in the area only and then returning to the newer parts of the city on way to home. But there comes something which derails all the best-laid plans (mine was just a rudimentary one….).

I stopped at that shop selling head-scarves and all but was again told that the atricle I had wanted was still in the godown and would be available next time I came…. I was the same thing I was told last time but then what can you do? I bought a substitute and moved on ahead. And THEN…. Well, you’ll have to wait for the next installment.

To be continued…..

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