There was a bakery sale at work today. Watching inept people (read baker woman and her baker’s man) act like hoity-toity businesspeople is an education in itself. She was too busy gossiping on the phone in a strange, unplaceable accent and he was counting money while a queue of buyers waited to be served.
Hearing the conversations in this puffed up bakery was music to the ears.
“What ya, four cakes? For you, ah?” with sly smile. Earnest denial, “Ayyo, no ma, they are for my son. Poor fellow is ill, you know.” Baker’s woman interrupts, “Ayyo, ill, you say? Take this strawberry, very nice my strawberry cake is. I ate it that day and couldn’t believe how good it was.” Score, bakerwoman, whatasale! “Yes ah, then I will also eat off. Give me three. What is this, such a big cashew-nut chikki? Can’t you make smaller sizes?”
Baker’s woman loudly: “Yes, no? I should tell my boy to cut it to smaller sizes. Everyone eats it and gets so fat. You don’t eat too much, okay, you are already so fat. But it’s very nice, ya.”
I stood in the queue and watched this interesting exchange and prayed to all the Gods that be that these women were not strangers who had just met at a sale but were the most intimate of friends. Unfortunately, my sense tells me otherwise.
And so it is possible in my country to tell customers who visit your hotel, “Oh my God, you are so fat. Don’t eat that tandoori chicken – but do order it by all means.”
Or do what my con-job tailor did when he unwittingly stitched a kameez 4 inches too small for me and made me feel like a corseted queen in a Shakespearean play, bang on my happy birthdayday too! “But 2 inches extra you’ve put on in 2 days. 2 inches extra everywhere.
And in a stage whisper to the other customers in the shop, “Two inches extra, you know, Chaichaichai, how it will fit now? Two inches.”
And everyone promptly clucked their tongues at two inches extra me who is far from being a size queen (pun wholly intended).
So like that.
But if you think this is bad, wait till I tell you about everyone and their relative’s obsession with my sex life. It’s a veritable modern-day best-seller – whodunbhumika, I say, whodunbhumika?