(This is a rushed post…apologies :-))
You know, the way we get attached to simple things. Things that are not really expensive, but those that are precious. Because they are ubiquitous, in our life. They have always been there, been a part of some nice experience… Let me explain.
After two months of vacation in good ol’ Chennai, I went grocery shopping at the local Asda store just last evening. It was a week day, and an evening in that, so I was not expecting much of a crowd. I was therefore, caught by surprise at the number of shoppers there were!
There were the typical Bangladeshi families piling their weekly/monthly groceries in a huge trolley (with four kids trailing in a row), the typical British families (with freckled children and their teenage parents yelling at each other), and the typical Indian families (whispering timidly into the partner’s ears). And there was also a huge gang of noisy young boys, straight out of school.
I carefully and quickly meandered my way through the grocery, because I desparately needed to visit that all-important section that read :’SUMMER SALE! SALE! SALE!’
My red backpack was empty, except for my wallet, so I hung it on the buggy so I could focus on the Sale.
It certainly was good – the sale, I mean. I got a pair of Thomas Shoes (with blinking lights!!), a very nice pair of jeans and a pair of Thomas socks (Yes, I confess – the Little One’s clothes are all about Thomas The Tank Engine. He infact refuses to wear any other undies even!) – and all this for under GBP 15.
As I bent down to place the bargain into the basket, the Little One cooed sweetly (diametrically opposite the way he usually YELLS!!) I was delighted. First a great bargain, and second, a gurgly baby! It was a nice day indeed.
When I suddenly realised that my backpack was no longer hanging by the side of the buggy. I was horrified!
My backpack! My wallet! My credit card! Oh damn! My house key!!!
I turned round and round, as if I would find it lying on the floor. Ofcourse, it wasn’t there. I examined the buggy again. Not on the handles, not in the basket. The Little One cooed again, and gave me a dimply smile. ‘Yeah yeah! Not now!’ I scowled.
The gang of noisy young boys passed by, laughing out loud. It seemed like they had been following us all over the store. In the grocery section, in the juices section, why, even in the Baby section! It suddenly struck me that it might have been one of them. These irresponsible English boys with no sense of respect for elders!
I wanted to call the security officer. I wanted to confront them. Make them confess to their deed/crime. Make them pay for it. Teach them a lesson.
With that temporary surge of bravery, my hands started trembling. I was sweating too, and the scanty remains of my hair were by now plastered to my forehead (I always wonder how these ‘phoren’ girls manage to have wavy/straight non-oily, non-sticky hair!!)
I cleared my throat and called out ‘Excuse me!’ My vocal cords did not co-operate. I coughed a little, and tried again. To no avail.
So I grabbed my shopping basket (Now why the hell could I not just leave it there? I couldn’t have paid for it anyway!) and started walking briskly in their direction. ‘Ammaaaaaaaaa…..’, I heard a voice. It was my Little One. How could I have forgotten 😦 As I ran back to grab his buggy, something tugged at my back. It was an open door of a shelf. Caught onto the belt that hung, from guess what? My backpack!
There it was! Sitting safely on my back. My good old red backpack. My friend and companion for the last two years. I thanked the good Lord. And felt mushy about the bag not being stolen after all. You know, the nice happy ending type!
And then, I was jolted into reality. ‘GETTTTTT ME OOOOOOOUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT AMMMMMMAAAAAAAAAAAA’ yelled the Little One. ‘I REAAAAAAAAAALLY WANT TO GET OUT’.
Oh Yes, things were back to normal.