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WHEN GENES PUNISH

WHEN GENES PUNISH

4 mins 212 4 mins 212

Usually having deployed appropriate people at my hotel, for the past few years especially after the demise of this restaurant's real owner, my dad, I have been deliberately avoiding the counter and concentrating more in academics, as that was his all-time wish. My residence is just above the shop, my every existing sense, with every possible effort remains att(dis)racted towards the minutest and the loudest noise and dialogues being hurled naturally skywards. Today is a state holiday the usual cacophony was missing. I too was returning from a surprise meeting called on short notice by our "Parbhanikar" friends group which was held casually at a fruit juice joint, such sudden meetings always being delightful, especially over a glass of sugarcane juice.


The meeting place was a small cool juice joint run by a loveable North Indian man called Gudduji. The landlord of this place being none other than our even more loveable friend Renukadasji. I was observing the dedication and efforts with which a small juice center that Guddu ran employing his whole family. I was amazed all along how a perfect "Manager" Guddu is for the customers, his family, his best pal and his landlord and of course idlers like us. Yes idlers, at least for him from my perspective, we outnumbering his customer count that too at noon business time and ask for what - 'gossiping' in those peak hours. Save for the fact that these posts will remain unseen by Gudduji else, so decent he is that, these lines of mine are sure to be strongly objected and disagreed by him, for he sees pleasure in our gathering. All I can say is he is an RBD cultured man. Running the shop in front of Parbhani bus station, he has varied customers, mostly thirsty villagers who come in family packs. His decent smile on a ferocious beard delivers a perfect blend of character for the observer, which is essentially needed to run a business in this otherwise opportunistic town.


With Guddu and his small "Famous" kingdom hovering my thoughts, I just returned to mine called 'Natraj Udupi'. Out of hundreds of funny incidences happening at my counter one was brewing and getting ready to be served. Today I was an accidental witness and a participant. As I stepped in, a regular irksome customer was demanding a chilled bottle of mineral water in his usual irritating tone of voice, only this time he had held his three-year-old kid in his arm. Shops running near railway and bus stations, attract "floating customers" who are easily satisfied and more eager to move on to their next destination like at Guddus. While in the interior, like my shop, we have "rotating customers" who are routine and more demanding and their home is their destination. The manager and the staff were trying to decently convince him about the power cuts, fluctuating voltage and every technical issue leading to the failure of the demanded service. He was getting more and more irritated and was not ready to quit. I jumped into the discussion and diplomatically informed him that it's his choice of purchase and no obligations exist as quite a few serving shops run around the corner. He was persistent and entered the foul language, and we all remained tongue-tied because this particular level of debate was unachievable by any of the receiving end participants. After his lingo got decorated with few more 'F' words an amazing thing took place. The kid in his arms, surely a mama’s boy (as definitely he did not harbor his papa's genes), did something extraordinarily brilliant. Unable to bear the slang and irritating behavior of his dad, instinctually and innocently the hanging kid in the arm slapped his dad's face. "Bang".


A moment of silence was followed by an instant burst of laughter and its midway control by one of the onlooking waiter. This resulted in more anger and more bad words by the papa and lo a second tight slap by the kiddo on his daddy's chin. Now, this situation resulted in collective laughter by everyone including myself and a few standing customers. Humiliated and hurt at the core papa in reflex action returned the act on the small kid. This ensured a pandemonium by the kid. We were mere observers for the next 30 minutes in which our papa laboriously tried and miserably failed in convincing his progeny. It was only when the kids' mamma, who was shopping in a sari center nearby came, there was a consoling silence in the air. The family ascended the stairs with papa giving a final villainous look towards one and all standing who were seriously putting effort in holding back their laughter. Once out of sight they (and me too) burst wholeheartedly. If no one lease your genes are sure to give back what you give to others. A lesson practically observed.


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