Posted on August 28, 2016
I was strolling around Dhalgarwad market, looking for the right textile shopkeeper to answer a few questions about replacing plastic bags with more eco-friendly ones. I crossed many, looking for that empty shop which would give me and the shopkeeper ample time to discuss our agenda.
Some were empty but the owners did not look affable; some expressions were stern while some were the least bothered. Many shops went by and I was getting worried, occasionally looking ahead if the market was about to end. After criss-crossing a few lanes; I finally found my chap happily smiling with yellowing teeth. There was something about his demeanour that gave me the confidence to approach him. As I entered, I sensed he knew that I was not there to buy any of his hundred rupee cut-pieces; was I overdressed for the occasion? My fathers oft-spoken words were ringing in my ears, "Jaisa desh, waisa bhesh". I was already in so I started with a little introduction; I gave him my flashy card to break the ice and asked if he had a few minutes to spare.
Uvesh was his name, I discussed the nitty-gritty of getting him to convert to eco-friendly packaging. He laid down the challenges threadbare and had valid points. He was hesitant to get his picture clicked therefore I took shots of the rolls of fabric stacked together on the shelves. He looked young, in his 20’s so I asked him if he ever wanted to do something else, my question got him all nostalgic over his failed business of mineral water pouches.
While our conversation was progressing, he offered lemon tea. The cup was super-small compared to the humongous ones that I usually down. I looked at the tiny thing and wondered if I would be able to squeeze out a second sip, nevertheless I couldn’t refuse the offer from my dear host so I gulped it down.
It was time to say goodbye, I left telling him that this meeting was destined and we may never meet again.
The only memory that remains is of the pint-size tangy masala lemon tea!