Saturday, March 28, 2009

Roadside drama

This Keralite roadside shopkeeper at Al Wahda Street of Sharjah is a talkative, enterprising guy.
“So how is family?” he asked while I was passing by.
“Good, thanks,” I replied.
“So when are you getting married?”
Hmmm. Before I could recover from the shock, I saw another man standing close by. Oh, he was addressing him!
“Say Hi to Babhi,” he told me. (Hindi word for sister-in-law)
“I am not married, just engaged,” replied the other man this time.
“Forty dirhams. For you 30,” the shopkeeper hastily informed a customer looking at a cute handbag.
“Haan. What I was telling. That loan you promised to help,” he addressed us again.
“But I did not,” I replied.
“Not you, the other friend,” he frowned at me this time.
Watching the drama, the customer tried to escape.
“Talk to both of you later.” He abruptly went back to his customer.


  1. This is quite common in all parts of India. Everyone has a favourite shop...
    and in most cases the shopkeeper knows more about his customers than even their own wives :)

    Good to know about this Indian export in Sharjah

  2. That happens to me sometimes. I think someone is talking to me so I answer and turns out they were talking to somebody else. The confusion can create an awkward moment. The shopkeeper sounds like quite a character. "Forty dirhams. For you 30" -- why do I get the sense he will say that very phrase 100 more times before the day is over?

  3. Thats one funny incident. I am reminded of what happened once during my college days, Mistaken identity! ;)
    I once ended up smiling at someone at a distance while walking in the corridor mistaking him for one of my friend and on nearing the person realised that was my senior. Did not know what to smiled and just moved on. What was surprising is - he returned the smile just like how a known friend would. From then on, where ever in campus we come across each other we exchanged a funny smile! :)

  4. Cute story, R. Ramesh. Imagine how familiar the shopkeeper is with everyone! And how confusing, too. I'm often mistaken for another blond professor at work. We both smile a lot, wear similar clothes, are fair skin toned but actually we look quite different. She has dimples, is five inches shorter than me, and is Puerto Rican. (I'm from the USA) I just tell confused people that she is my sister. :-)

  5. For a minute you thought that you actually looked a proper eligible bachelor! All of us are entitled to brief flights of fantasy.

    How are you doing? The heat must be catching up with you this time of the year

  6. Good, Great, better, best...hmmmm any other word to describe this writing... If yes then all those as well..


  7. Must be a crazy guy :)