It had just then stopped raining. I looked out of the balcony and saw the muddy water streaming down the foot path and took a deep breath, taking in all the fresh air after a heavy down pour and marveled at the site I saw.
The green leaves of the trees were dancing in gay abundance as the wind blew, showering water like sprinklers on the people who walked below.
There she stood under the cover of the tree a bit drenched but nonetheless looked very much like a potentate, at least in front of her colorful spread that lay in her cart! The rain drops that had settled like pearly due drops on the farm fresh nature’s wonder which she was selling were a sight to the beholder!
I sat inside the bay-window sill and watched people gather around her and within half an hour her cart was empty and there she vanished from the scene as the sun went down.
Seasons passed, we came to live here in
. Come summer holidays and we were back home for our annual vacation and the best time pass especially for me was to take a stroll to the market whenever I was free in the evenings. One evening as it had just then stopped raining, I walked on the footpath criss-crossing all the puddles that came as hurdles. Bahrain
As I entered the market nudging my way through the crowd, I saw a voluptuously “DESI” woman with a crisp bright cotton saree, a huge red circle of a ‘bindi’ in the middle of her forehead, a tight bun for a hairdo and fresh jasmine flowers surrounding it and topping it all was her paan stained lips.
Aaaa… there she is, the vendor woman who stood under the tree ages ago, ‘Oh, she has put up a shop here?’ I thought.
‘Curvaceously delicious, Curvaceously delicious, come and see for your selves’, she smilingly screamed beckoning people to come and take a look at the motley spread she had in different sections in front of her!
The two catchy words which she was calling out with a naughty smile attracted many to her shop. The stuff she was so deliriously delighted about was nothing but fresh farm vegetables, purple arched brinjals, red round tomatoes, big fat pumpkins, green long chilies and a variety of other vegetables, curvacious YES and delicious ofcourse YES… when cooked!!!!!!!!!!
This particular shop was the talk of the town, I mean our area. Everybody would flock to her shop to buy those fresh veggies as well as to exchange a few snippets with this ‘full of life’ woman.
One evening as I sat to watch television at home here in
, the phone rang. The phone ringing at an unusual hour brought anxiety even before I took the call. It was my father-in-law who had called to break a bad news! He said, ‘The whole vegetable market was on fire this afternoon and most of the shops were gutted and all the shop keepers were helpless on-lookers as they witnessed their businesses go in flames!” Bahrain
‘Alas, what a tragedy’, I voiced my concern and at once my thought raced through the lanes of the vegetable market and stopped in front of the CD shop. What happened to that Curvaceously Delicious shop?, I asked. ‘Everything is in ashes now’, he replied.
I imagined the agony, the anguish and the helplessness ‘she’ would have gone through along with the others!
After a few months, when I was in Banglaore, the first day itself I decided to go the vegetable market.
As I walked in, what did I see? The whole place was bustling with life, full of shoppers and the same old shop keepers. Though the fire had blackened the walls of the shops, their spirits weren’t, I could see.
I moved with the crowd to reach my favorite vegetable shop and lo! She was there with a sparkling grin which was a complete contrast to the black brunt wall behind her. ‘I had to sympathize with her before I could select the veggies’, I thought but there was no room for that because she greeted me by saying,
‘Look at these curvaceously delicious vegetables, they are fresh from the farm madam, I bet you will not get such farm fresh ones back in your foreign place too’.
So saying she put a small basket in front of me to choose the veggies. I was dumb founded for a second and looked up and her radiant smile and reciprocated with a nod. There was no room for remorse. It was life and business as usual for her whereas here my mindset was that of pity!
What did this mean, my friends?
Life has its own curves; some are smooth whereas some curves are crooked.
And here this vegetable vendor had not given up when life threw her off track but had faced it and now she is back doing her business as before!
The blackened wall behind her did have a white ceiling like the black clouds that have a silver lining.
Finally as I picked up my bag full of vegetables, the parting grin she gave meant, ’Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they are supposed to help you re-discover your potential and start your life all over again.’ Or so I thought!
I smiled back and jostled my way out of the market!