Thursday, 14 February 2008

A Pune Visit: Part 1


It was my first official assignment: accompany a Chennai based customer from Bombay to Pune and show him a machine demonstration. The customer will be accompanied by his daughter.

Since the visit is supposed to take place on a Saturday, I ask myself: why not stay on in Pune on Sunday and make a weekend of it? I have never been to Pune before and this will be a great opportunity to do some sight-seeing.

I want my friend Ram to come with me but it is difficult to convince him. Ram is an easy-going, laid-back kind of person who would rather listen to music or try out South Indian ragas on his guitar during the week-end, than haul himself off to Pune.

Finally I hit upon an idea.

“The customer’s daughter is also with him and she is a real stunner,” I say.

“Have you seen her?” Ram is naturally suspicious.

I give my imagination free rein and describe to Ram, in minute detail, a girl I have never seen before. He brightens up considerably during the narration and agrees to come along.

Thus we find ourselves at 6 am the next day, near the Dadar Post Office, from where you get share taxis to Pune. It is a chilly December morning and we huddle against the wall of the taxi stand and wait.

Finally a car arrives and stops in front of the taxi stand. The customer gets down from the front and, as Ram and I hold our breath in mounting anticipation, the daughter emerges from the back.

The first thing we notice is that she has too much talcum powder on her face and neck. The effect is that of a whitewashed face. She is a tall, gawky lady in a sari and looks very formidable. Introductions are made. It is obvious the lady does not think much of both of us. She scowls and says nothing.

Ram flashes me a murderous look and goes and sits in the front seat of the Pune taxi that is waiting for us and does not talk a word during the entire journey.

1 comment:

Dileep said...

Am sure Ram hasn't forgiven you to this day. Making a man wake up before dawn, and then that...truly a low blow.

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Stepping Sideways... by K. Radhakrishnan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.