My first attempt at a short story. Gaonwala is a slang used in Mumbai meaning “villager” and is often used on people who don’t know the courtesy and etiquette of Urban life or simply on those who are considered less ‘intelligent’ (read : street smart)
Raghu got out of the S.T bus at Dadar. The ride from Peepul Gaon, Nashik to Mumbai had been a bumpy one. He had a feeling his rear end was going to be sore all day. Nonetheless he felt very purposeful. He had attained a job within 6 months of his graduation.
Many people had advised him to do his Bachelor of Arts major in History and / or English Literature. But he his pledged his loyalty to Hindi Literature a long time ago. From Harivanshrai Bachchan to PremChand to Amir Khusro, he loved them all, and thought there were no greater writers than them. But that did not mean he thought nothing of English. He knew its importance as a universal language and had taken painstaking efforts to master it before coming to Mumbai.
He had written letters of his creative works to all leading Hindi newspapers and Publishers. Finally he got a positive reply from Dainik Bhaskar, Mumbai, which had its office in Mahim.
He went inside Dadar station and stood in a queue to buy a ticket to Mahim. It was a long queue and coincidentally, also a rush hour time and so people were growing impatient. The man behind him shoved him, in a desperate attempt to make the line move faster. He bumped against the woman in front of him, and immediately mumbled an apology”Sorry, behenji, i didnt mean to,but..” . Even so, the woman looked him up and down and snarled , “Don’t know where these people come from, with no clue how to behave..bloody Gaonwala!!”
Raghu was confused. Yes, he was dressed in a khadi Kurta and Pyjama. So what?
“Mister, do you want your ticket or not??” said the man at the ticket window.
The interview had gone well. Although he didn’t understand what the editor meant by “you are just the kind of person we need for the retention of the Indian spirit section…its about sticking to the roots you know” .
But he was hired and that was enough for now.
December, the 11th, was the day the office had decided to throw a part to celebrate the increased readership. Raghu, now known as Raghav, walked into the office in a suit. He raised a toast to their success. A little while later he made a pass at the buxom new secretary, who looked exceptional with the Red of her sari matching exactly with her Sindoor.
The “Gaonwala” gentleman was lost to make place for the Urbaniiite.