Yet another unforgettable Wednesday II

I was writing about what I did last Wednesday (May 12 of the Year of Glorious Uncertainty 2010) but I began late and could not complete my account, getting bogged down at work or distracted my other preoccupations/posts and so on. Today, Monday, May 17, I realised I better get back to it and complete it before the next Wednesday comes…..

In my last post on the subject, I had got to the point where after a massive effort of will, I had shrugged off the indolence I had been revelling in since the morning, dressed and left for the habitual visit to old Delhi. I had got to the point where I was shuffling through books at Jamia and trying to find something that would excite my fancy……  Now I continue

As I was looking, my attention was drawn to a book…. and first I thought was hallucinating, and then I reproached for missing it first in my all ranging gaze. The letters alif, vao, dal and the do-chashme he have a alliure for me only second to the letters lam, khe, do-chashme he, noon and vao.

And would you believe it, this was all that I could accomplish Monday before it was time to go. The following part comes Tuesday, where it was imperative to finish this post – the option of junking it foreclosed due to the first part already being posted…. Anyway to return to the post.

The book was called “Urdu Adab Mein Avadh” and there was no way I was going to let it go. Even the price, slightly high, waswell with reach…. not that it mattered. As I kept the book aside, Khusro sahab read out the title with a knowung glance at me and recommended two other books, which I said I already had. There was another book which appeared promising but I kept it for next time. As I think over it, I realise it would be a worthwhile addition to my library. I will not identify it yet, and only do so after I acquire it tomorrow, Inshallah’. I hope it is still there…..

However as it happened, it was soon 1900 hours and time to the Maktaba to close. I wondered what to do next as it was still too early to head for the city centre and onward to home. I sauntered on to those two kiosk-type bookshops, found nothing worthy of attention except a magazine or two which I picked up.  I stood a minute or two outside a shop I also frequent for another article but again found nothing. It was then I ventured inside Matia Mahal and picking some supplies, pondered over my next course of action.

Just next to the re-supply pint and the sweet shop where I sometime picked habshi or ate gajar ka halwa during winters, there  was a restaurant that I had often mulled visiting, with the one particular dish seeming to be an allure. On most previous visits, I had been restrained by the weight of the  heavy lunch on alternate Wednesdays (such as tomorrow, Wednesday, May 19 of the Year of… well I have identified it a lot already and no purpose will be served by a repetition). Anyway, to get back to the story, I went in and stood for some perusing the menu on the wall and mulling options.

Then feeling hungry after my lengthy perusal and being concerned with the propriety of turning back after such a detailed examination, I took the plunge and went in. I was still a little unsure and asked about the dish and got confirmation that it was what I thought…..

Then I tucked it into a half-plate of badam pasanda, accompanied by four piping hot, yeasty tandoori rotis  and felt at the top of the world. The pasanda was not as good as the one I used to pick up from that roadside stall in Lucknow, but then nothing can ever be… However, it was good in its own way with the almonds adding a unique flavour and experience as they crunched between the teeth. The meal was quite satisfying in its own way and I took a strategic decision to indulge in more such unilateral pleasures,  abjuring attempts to bring acquitances to such endeavours.

The meal done and me sated, I slowly made my way down that crowded street to the nearest metro station to take me to the heart of the city from where I caught a bus home, fitfully dozing on the way.

And that was how that Wednesday went…. I hope the one coming is good too.


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