Thursday, March 10, 2016

An Evening in Puri

There are times when you can sit at one place and watch life slide by. That’s exactly what I did one evening next to the sea in Puri. It began with a stray dog being bullied away by a couple of bigger canines. A few kind words and gestures later we became fellow companions. I had no biscuits or bones to offer yet we bonded and sat silently close-by, watching the sun set behind the bank of thick clouds.
From the corner of my eyes I watched couple of young guys parking themselves close to a sun bathing blonde. Creeps I thought. Half an hour later I regretted my fist impression. They were sand artists leaving their own impressions in the sands of time. No wonder the blonde found them interesting!
Then this guy came along selling conches. “Teach us how to use it” was my pre-condition to buying the stuff he was trying to sell. Not only he taught us how to blow the conch but in the process also taught some of the greatest face expressions ever possible!! I managed to catch one.
The guy selling beads, “genuine pearls” and “precious” stones came by. Having failed to impress the blonde he now was trying his luck with the desi babus and memsahibs. We did not disappoint him either. How could you? After hearing all his ‘genuine’ stories how he personally found them in the sea bed miles away from the shore!
The ‘professional’ photographer was having no luck. He was convincing me and every other guy on the beach about the useless cell phone cameras. A forlorn figure in a crowd of selfie maniacs, I realized that no one can ever convince him and his tribe that “ache din” will come again.
The blondes’ discovery of India process was still on. This time she had 
discovered the jhal-muri. She was enjoying the attention she was getting as everyone around tried explaining the ingredients.
As the sun began sliding down quickly, I remembered the 50% rebate offer at my hotel bar during sun set. Oh yes! Sun downer concept is here in Odisha too!!
The dog followed and just as I was entering the hotel premises she stopped. She gave me one last goodbye look and without fuss melted into the evening sunset.....
She too knew that in this day and age loyalty takes you thus far and no further.

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