Crockery Conversations – Part 2! (a co-authored post)

And The Manor lived by another day. Its members and inhabitants doing what they were supposed to do. Live on, do their daily work, blissfully unaware of the existence of talking crockery. And just like these members, lived the Crockery of that Manor, the sun went down, lights went out and the Crockery came to life, like always. Slowly, gradually, trying to shake off the stagnant daily life off them, and shedding the darkness. Beginning to talk and move. This day had been quite eventful. Hell, not just eventful but full of hectic work and excitement. It was Neelofar’s birthday. Neelofar, the middle child of one of the brothers of the Manor, was celebrating her18th birthday. Every event, like a birthday or a marriage, at the Manor was a huge, ‘talk of the town’ sort of event. The magnificent Manor would be lit up like the Sun, covered by unbelievable and brilliant decoration, making it truly look like a wonder. Richie rich guests, friends and family, all occupied the Manor for Neelofar’s birthday, to get together and meet up, greeting each
other, the party being a reason for another social comparison, who was prettier, who was richer, and by how much?.

While the legally living greeted outside, the pseudo non-living prepared them to serve their guests with exquisite food and beverages. Dishes of many varieties and kinds were served on them, to cater to people of every type .For a manor this big, serving a family this royal, the amount of Crockery in the kitchen had to be humungous and unbelievable too. Years of serving the royal blood and friends, they had tasted almost every dish, every drink and every stain. They would show off, about how many dishes they have served and which the best was. Surprisingly,
these were the things who had tasted more than any man could have (or woman. We no sexist, bro.)

Shaking off the memory of the day, Mrs Potts, the all mother, the oldest, announced it was safe for everyone to come out. With her permission and assurance, all the unboxed, unchained Crockery came out. Cluttering on their way through the counters, hopping, rearranging themselves, and finally walking down from cabinets, and the strong ones jumping off heights, they all gathered around Mrs. Pott.

Mrs. Potts, with her favourite pots and cups, started chatting about how the day had gone. What went wrong and what was new and what all happened. Comparing everything to how they did it before. Condemning some new things and praising some. While the pots and cups kept on with their chat, two imported, English plates, brought specially from
England, argued with other Indian plates about a recent game of cricket between India and England. David, one of the English plates said, “We invented the game, we play it the best. Everyone else came and cheated from us and learned it. We own cricket!” To which, a furious Indian plate, Rex, replied, “Yeah, and who stole hockey? Don’t you people play it, too? Everybody in the world does. That’s our game. Give that back to us and you can have the
right to lecture me about owning cricket.” Disgusted at being levelled by a comment equally valid, David had to give in and cluttered back into his stand, stomping angrily, giving Rex the meanest of looks. Rex continued to talk to the other English plate, Harrison. Harrison was rather a calmer, more reasonable plate. Now, that’s the kind of personality a plate should have, Rex thought approvingly. He would talk is way out of people but never fight. Taking David’s place, Harrison started talking to Rex and everyone, the other Indian plates knew, Rex was going to succumb to Harrison’s way with words. Thus they popped open their ears and patiently waited for it to happen. Knowing that this night, was going to be all about it cricket and Harrison.

Only, they noticed that one of Neelofar’s friends had forgotten her cup at the Manor, and it simply wouldn’t talk! This was pointed out by the very observant kettle, Jaya. Then it struck her that, *maybe* only the crockery which has been in this Manor can talk! And that spun all kinds of questions – Was the manor bewitched? Were the owner’s wizards? This would explain the incident of last time, when they thought morning came too soon! Do time and other fundamental things behave differently in this Manor? The uproar that went around was magnanimous! But how much of it was true? Only time would tell! (Whether it behaves fundamentally normally, or not.)

{ This blog was co-authored along with Adam Fredie, in fact, the post is mostly him. Do encourage him by comments 🙂 }

The Gaonwala Gentleman

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.