Monday, 1 October 2007

Earning one's bread while I eat mine

Sandwiches... thats what primarily constitutes my lunch menu for the past coupla months. Actually, the use of the word 'primarily' is rather erroneous (wrong) cos Sandwiches are the only thing that constitute my lunch.
Work gets busy around lunch hours and by the time I get done with work, all the edible items vanish in the cafeteria. Which then calls for a nice 2 minute walk to the main road sandwich shop. A small place with plastic chairs. Very sparse menu - Bread Omlet, Veg Sandwich each of them has the variant of adding a slice of Cheese. The costliest item on menu is 13 Rs. (of course this is not counting the photo of Trisha, which I think is valuable enough not to go on sale)
The other day, I get out of office for my usual bite of Sandwich and sit in one of those plastic stools and wait. A man comes hanging on a crutch with his left shoulder. The right palm is outstretched, confined within it 2 Rs/-
The youth who runs the Sandwich shop is a nice guy most of the times, and he shoos the one legged man away. The man just stands there and flashes the most radiant smile I have seen on a man with flesh and blood. This is the kind of smile one usually sees in paintings of Hindu gods and goddesses. The Sandwich guy is ticked, he cant understand what the matter is and just when he is about to let loose a few of the choicest epithets he can muster, the one legged man asks for 2 water packets. (each costs 1 Re) The Sandwich guy looks bemused and gets the much needed water packets after taking the 2 Rs from the man with one leg.
Taking the water packet with his right hand, the calm and godly smile still on his face, the man with one leg limps across the main road and sits down under a tree. The wares and tools of a cobbler lie in front of him.
Having to eat the same Sandwich for 5 days a week is some achievement. Leading a life with dignity against all odds is the greatest achievement of them all.