March 19, 2010


I write this form a place 100 kilometers from Nasik city and two kilometers from the Gujarat border. Surganna is in the famous Dang teak and bamboo forests. I am sitting in a ‘hotle’ called Guru Krupa. In description this is three star splash for it has six cups and saucers, most others have three or four. In the corner there is a pathela with a constantly smoldering  ……… (chaha). I write it in Devnagri because in English one finds it hard to spell this beautiful word. I don’t like       (chai), it sounds too much like chaila , a condensation of tuja aaiee la . Mind you I like the abuse as abuse. To abuse …….(chaha) is a heinous crime.

The ‘hotle’ hangs a kind of cactus to keep away the mosquitos. when I pointed out to the proprietor that there were some mosquitos even sitting on the plant, the man looked pained just raised his eyebrow a bit and said ‘stupid mosquitos’. So I gather that the cactus is only meant for the intelligent ones.

The menu though devoid of lobster, salmon, asparagus and anchovies has that famous hors d’oeuvre, shev gatya and salted chilies. Of course you have the cup that cheers as ‘chalu’ (plain) 20p., ‘peshal (special) 40p and ‘takkar’ chaha 70p. Takkar as the name might suggest is a bang between a chalu and a peshal. I tried to tell the owner that from simple arithmetic that would be 20 + 40 = 60p. ‘No , no’, and the same pained raised eyebrow look, takkar is 70 p. I told him that he was cheating the public and that if I wanted a takkar I would order a chalu and a peshal and bang them myself. He made an exasperated head scratching gesture, ‘but sahib, you must know how’. In that case he wins, but then again he loses because I’m a chalu man anyway.

I have the notion while reading this through that I’m sounding just a trifle like Busy Bee. But there is only one Busy Bee like the one that coulumnises at the backside of the Evening News. Like I guess I’ll have to call myself lazy Larva or something with that sort of alliteration.

There is a small chap here running this three star splash in this one horse town. Every time he passes the shev ghatia he involuntarily pops some into his mouth. You can’t really blame him. Like man this is a hors d’oeuvre. Like the dust in Surganna is bad this place is good with its Liptons Ruby dust chalus and tea stained tables and its flies and pictures of Ganesh, Shiva, and Laxmi. All that’s missing is Anuradha (an ex girl-friend). But she’s safe on Shoellar paper in my closet in Bombay, like skeletons in the cupboard which I am happy to take out and love again.

One Response to “Peshal”

  1. Chand Nair Says:

    Peshal-ly good esp the banging “chay” theories…eenjaayed !

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