Sab Badiya – all good!!
You get that feeling
on a Sunday morning
when you walk through a village
In the middle of the city
8ish. It’s amazingly laid back. Especially when you think you are one lane away from the hustle and bustle of serious city traffic. The lazy, winter sun at 8 in the morning feels good against your exposed skin as you saunter down the lane looking around. The tall sky scraper coming up is surprisingly quiet and so are the closed society gates.
The little shops that adorn the lane – Royal traders and building material suppliers is shut, so is Suvarna Chinese and Sofia General Stores. But the butchers, KGN and Umar, wearing gaudy aprons are ready, while their hens are not. So is Excellent Saloon, where the young barber sits in his own chair, staring at his beard making a face that says ‘Hmm’. Then there is Jai Ambe Radiwalla; the shop is open and the owner is fast asleep next to a weighing scale weighed down by the newspapers. Not a care in the world.
This sense of Sunday Siesta continues till the curb.
The corner is one of the entry points into the village – quite a busy place on a weekday. It’s a narrow lane that snakes into the village guarded by a co-op. society on one end and small houses/shops lining up at the other end.. The interesting portion is the curb itself – where the first thing that catches the eyes is the lone long seat – wonder who got that idea? A couple of men are sitting down in all seriousness reading the newspaper. A lady stands behind them and peers into the same newspaper. Interesting, very very interesting.
On the opposite side is the chai stall. The lady who womans the shop can be called Mrs Good Morining. Her hair dishevelled, saree all over the place, she’s busy brewing-stirring the chai that’s on a continuous slow boil – making the tea deadlier and of course tastier. Many wake up to her chai – the construction workers, the hawkers, shopwallas, the old lady out for grocery and gossip, the muslim father-son duo arguing on their scooter and many more. Yes M’am, she’s Mrs. Good Morning all right.
Next to her around the curb are the hawkers. They too are in Sunday-morning mode.
Like the onion guy’s cart – ‘who buys onions so early?’ Minimum conversation, he packs my stuff, takes money and hands it over. It’s a little more exciting at the veggie shop. The man is one talkative fellow. He even got me to buy half a dozen spring onions that I don’t even like. Or actually know how to cook. How did he do that?
Next to the seat is an old man who sells bananas. My friend knows him well. The old man smiles, asks us if we want bananas. My friend smiles, nods a no. At the same time he asks him –
“Kaise ho?” How are you?
The old man smiles back again and says,
“Sab badiya hai!” All good!
That morning these were the best words to hear. All good – everything and everyone is at peace.
Soon, morning shall turn to busy noon, villages shall transform into towns and people will buy and sell. Then they shall worry, sleep with the worry and wait for the next morning to forget and begin again. They would forget this morning. This Sunday. Where they woke up, felt good and said to each other–
“Sab badiya hai – All good!”