The Toshali (Af)Fair
“Look ..Look..that one..” “Where? Which? That striped shirt??” “No, the one to the left!” Guy. No. 4 spotted.
Oh, yeah hi! Lemme introduce ourselves, we –G,P & I are three FRIENDS(Thanks but no thanks..I DON’T prefer being called an Idiot) who’d ventured out on a chilly winter evening to visit the 4th Toshali Craft Mela. The original intention being to shop around our attention had been diverted towards greener pastures i.e. Guys. From then on we were involved in NSP(Nayan Sukh Prapti). Actually, the following incident was to blame…
It was a stall from Karnataka, selling woolen handlooms fancied a knitted tops & after much scuffling P went up & asked-“Err..cost??” “350 Amma!”-the man smiled. Ok that was easy.”Bargain!!!” hissed G. P looked lost, so I volunteered-“300??” & offered the money. A short pause & then the man & his wife both erupted in a cacophony. All I could make out was “Silk…Amma..Silk..Amma..” We cowered, ready to flee when I heard “330”.G paid the cash & we never looked back.
Not daring to look at the stalls anymore we were invariably diverted towards the crowd. And being with a straight orientation we checked out the guys. P was the one busy in guy hunting & we were helping her out. Guy No.1 was spotted in a short while. He was tall, fair, bespectacled & in short a nerd type. Well, to each his own! So soon he found himself followed by a three giggling girls trying to act inconspicuous.
“Oohh..Earrings!!!” I was ecstatic. Collecting earrings of every shape, size, color & creed has been my life’s ambition. I dragged G with me to the stall-which was easy given the fact that G weighs like 40kg. P looked mutinous until she chanced upon another geek standing in the adjacent stall.. Guy.No.2 was of the same genre except the fact that he was accompanied with his mother & a lady who suspiciously looked like his wife.”It could be his sister re..oh,maybe sister-in-law. Can be a friendly neighbor too…who knows?” P assured herself. And we followed him around.
“Noooo...Look we’ll lose him, he’s going away!!” P moaned as I entered another stall. I ignored her & G sympathized with her by finding Guy.No.3 for her but not before almost landing in a puddle trying to get the front-side view of him. P was happy again.
By now our stomachs were experiencing a quake & the sight of food stalls was enough to generate a tsunami in our mouths. Lo & behold! Guy.no.2 was sitting between his Mom & wife/sister/sister-in-law/neighbor. We fed ourselves while P feasted on him from far..(NSP).
He finished his meal & they exited. But much to P’s dismay we couldn’t follow this time because G had spotted a balloon man. We were pretty used to her reactions whenever she came across anything meant for 5 yr olds. And while we haggled with the balloon guy, P’s Guy.No.2 was long gone.
Deciding that the fair meant nothing more to us, we looked for the exit ourselves. Then we realized we were lost. An important looking policeman was sitting on a stool & staring at everyone with the “ab tak chhappan “ look. P went up & asked the way out. He looked here & there & then said in a grave voice-“No, am sorry I don’t know?!” “So much for ‘andha kanoon’...” I muttered. We managed to find our way out eventually but not before Guy.No.4 was given his status.