rainbow centre and cakes for dogs


while there is something patently unethical, unjust, and, to some people, unconscionable about buying for thirty rupees software that should have cost something in the range ofΒ five thousand dollars; there is, at the same time, a feeling of great satisfaction at having in your hands a cd full of all the goodies you can imagine without having to worry about how you’ll pay for the bus fare back home. not that i condone piracy. but, you have to admit, it’s one of life’s guilty pleasures.

this feeling of being a kid in a candy store or (since i’m currently re-reading stoker’s classic) a vampire in a blood bank, does, however, get considerably dampened when you walk along a narrow corridor, jostled left and right, with the sounds of ji bhaijan? and haan shahrukh! ringing in your ears. it’s irritating to say the least. it is also part of our culture. a shopping experience in any major subcontinental city is not complete without going through the sound pollution of the very direct marketing by shopkeepers.

some people have the gift of being able to ignore the calls totally. others have the lesser gift of being able to pretend to ignore. others, like yours truly, are ungifted and get positively harangued by them. often you respond with something like bhai nahin chaiye na! (i don’t want it, man!) – but you have to be careful. this is desiland after all.

there is in india a poet who goes by the highly interesting pseudonym of khwa-ma-khwa (which is best translated as “unnecessarily”). according to him mumbai is just one large rainbow centre. not in so many words of course but that was the gist. however, the shopkeepers there are far ahead of our pukhtoon/memon brothers when it comes to witty repartee. khwa-ma-khwa writes about an experience in a mumbai bazaar as follows:

poochha dukaandar nay “kya chaiye tumhein?”
“jo chaho gey meri dukaan per wo pao gay”
mein nay kaha ke “kuttay kay khanay ka cake hai?”
bola “yahin pe khaogay ya lay ker jao gay?”

the shopkeeper asked me “what do you want?”
“you’ll find whatever you need in my shop”
i asked him, “do you have cakes for dogs?”
he said, “will you eat it here or take it away?”

now thats something i should have remembered when i went to rainbow entreΒ yesterday. but if i had that kind of a memory i’d remember let’s see, well winona ryder’s birthday. (it’s october 29 and yes i do remember it but you know what i meant). i responded to the standard fare haan shahrukh! with a very polite sarcastic inquiry, requesting the guy to tell me how and from where do i look like the indian matinee idol. he said, “nahin lagtay. magar agar mein johnny lever kehta to aap bura maan jaatey“.

yes they were still laughing when i left.


21 Responses to “rainbow centre and cakes for dogs”

  1. Haha- When I was kid, I was fond of Shahrukh Khan(understatement). But Johny Lever, I still like.

  2. yes but i’m sure not for his ruggedly handsome looks.

  3. Ofcourse not. Though a few changes here and there and he could be the next big thing.

  4. hahaha.. well JL makes us laugh! so do u πŸ˜›

  5. agreed with UD

    its funny the names they call out to you πŸ˜› i haven’t been there in ages man! the last two CD’s i bought didn’t run on my computer, since then i’ve been gettin them from clifton πŸ˜› used to be much closer to return…

    now i just download (piracy zindabaad!!)

  6. @ henna: well so could durdana butt, but you wouldn’t want me to call you haan durdana! would you?

    @ mona and mansoor: you dare compare my sophisticated wit with johnny lever’s slapstick and overacting!!!???

    ***fumes, as smoke streams out of ears***

  7. oyeeeeeeeeeeeee edit ur comment plz, UD or mona is fine here there and everywhere…lets not make me famous in CBM plz πŸ˜›

  8. done mona gee πŸ™‚

  9. You’re funny. I like this stuff. Especially the ash’aar.

  10. πŸ™‚ thanks shabana

  11. xill: sophisticated wit? was there some where??? πŸ˜›

    lolzz! just pullin ur leg man.. but honestly.. johnny walker really does come to mind πŸ˜›

  12. the least you could have said was eddie murphy… πŸ™‚

  13. heh. their witty comebacks are brilliant. the little pathan kids selling roses are really good with their comebacks too.

  14. i recall this khwa-ma-khwa poet and the days of the indo-pak mushiraas. I recall that lady barkha rani… and other poetesses who were more famous for their singing rather than the wazan in their ashaars.
    u r so darn right about pirated CDs and books as being life’s guilty pleasures.

  15. and who can forget the inimitable syed zameer jafri. those indopak mushairas used to be awesome. jon ailiya and saghar khayyami were two other guys who our ghar ke barey enjoyed a lot.

    there are still loads of video cassettes lying around somewhere at my uncle’s.

  16. Lol @ the Johny lever comeback πŸ™‚

    I don’t know why you had to respond… I guess i m one of those who can easily ignore…

    Oh and if you wanna practice ignoring these calls, park your car in the Student’s Biryani parking lot and enter the R Center from the backside….. not only will you learn how to ignore these calls but also get free parking πŸ˜‰

  17. zag, my man, you are blessed…

  18. 18 SK

    LOL!! How did I miss this one?! I actually came in to see “hmm…they have cakes for me ex here?! πŸ˜€ Love the dukaandar’s ‘kutta’ return. πŸ™‚

    Oh and the Johnny ‘LEAVER’ (pun intended!!) was good too. πŸ˜› πŸ™‚ I’m the ‘ignore them’ type too, unless I’ve had a BAD BAD ‘thinking of ex’ day…then you’d be lucky if I JUST gave you ‘the look’ us Kazmi’s (women especially) are famous for, and left. πŸ˜‰

  19. 19 SK

    ooohh…can I send the kutta one to my ex?? πŸ˜€ Dud prob. won’t get it..

  20. why are kazmi’s always so sure of their bharam? πŸ˜›

  21. 21 SK

    Coz we’re Kazmis!! πŸ˜‰ Beware J. Leaver!! πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

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