Transit flat days
Realization came way too soon, on day 1 at the lunch table in the form of concerned parents of a Pune girl.
They: Came in today?
She: Ya. Hello, I am Shivranjini. Came in today from Delhi.
They: Staying alone?
She: Oh yes Uncle.
Daughter: Hi. So, you plan to look for a house? Do you want to accompany us for the house-hunting in a while from now?
She: Er...thanks. But I was thinking I should give myself a day's settling time.
Daughter: [Bemused look] > [Excuses herself] > [Scampers to look for classifieds in all the assorted news dailies]
mother-father-daughter trio leave the dining hall.
She: [thinking] Do you think the hurry is imagined? naah!! *crunch* *munch* *slurp*
Rest of the house-hunting stunts, tips and tricks will form part of a later blog-post...possibly, right after this one.
Back to talking guest house and its ways...
The room initially allotted to me (room no:6) just wouldn't open. Either the key wasnt matching the lock or the blue-shirt boy just didnt know how to be a locksmith. Anyways, we shunned that room and I was awarded with a room twice as nice (room no:12).
The room had:
- attached bath + loo
- a double-bed
- 2 bed-side tables: one with a table-lamp, the other with intercom, ash-tray and water jug
- study table with chair
- big wardrobe with in-built drawers
- mirror and small square table to keep my 'beauty-kit' :-p
She: Bhaiyya! aap hindi samajhte ho? [translates to: Say, can you understand Hindi?]
U Singh: Hanji ma'am. [Yes ma'am]
She: Meri chai mein doodh bilkul kam, patti zyaada aur meethi chai honi chahiye. [My tea will have very little milk, stronger brew and it should be sweet.]
U Singh: Theek hai ma'am. [okay ma'am]
She: abhi ke liye cheeni aur chammach le aaiyega. [for now, could you get me some sugar and a spoon?]
U Singh: Ji ma'am [okay ma'am]
returns with a spoon and sugar.
She: [stirs in the sugar] [sips] aah! ab theek hai. Bhaiyya! Aap kahaan ke ho? [now tastes better. Where are you from]
U Singh: Hum Pahari hain. Garhwal se hain. [I belong to the hills. Garhwal Hills]
U Singh: Aap kahan se aaye ho ma'am? [Where are you from ma'am]
She: Dilli se. [I am from Delhi]
U Singh: Humne kaafi time dilli mein kaam kiya tha ma'am...NOIDA mein. [I worked in Delhi for quite some time ma'am. I worked in NOIDA then.]
Soon, my tea's taste was etched in the minds of the rest of the kitchen boys and I didn't have to spell out the design specs everytime I asked for tea.
In the fifteen days I stayed at the transit flat, Ummed Singh's culinary skills were a true treat to my North-Indian taste buds. Though on odd days, he'd baffle me with South-Indian veggies cooked in North-Indian gravy. His dal was the most relished and visibly so. As much as I liked it, he'd enjoy seeing me slurp bowls of it.
On lean days at the dinner table, he'd strike conversation about life back in the hills and I'd promptly volunteer more information about my rafting and hiking trips to Garhwal and Kumaon.
On my last day at the guest house (20th Nov), I left a note in the visitor's book that read: "Thanks to Ummed Singh's culinary skills, I aint thinking about going back to Delhi...at least for now. :)"
Special Note: And there was this guy who came cleaning the rooms...a N-E guy (forgot his name). He could whistle all the 90s bollywood pot-boiler tracks one after another. And without gasping for breath. Awesome!!