Paa ...

Electricity bill was a week overdue. Decided to beat the rush and get to the local BESCOM by 845. There was still a line at that time. An eclectic one at that. An Anglo-Indian portly lady, her hair done up in a bun and bandanna, with shopping bags. Three old men, each haggard and unshaven, like they'd stumbled out of the nearest watering hole and decided that standing in a line was a decent way to beat a hangover. I ended up behind one of them, with long oily hair matted to his forehead. He was sweating on a cool morning. The burlap handbag hanging by his side was leaking something that, if you stepped in it, smeared the ground. Then a short old man joined the line behind me and kept getting a bit too close for comfort. I'd move to one side, he'd close in. Not fun.

Finally I got to the window and paid my bill. As I was waiting for my receipt another old man, scrawny, toothless and in a beanie, sidled up and smiled. I nodded back. Then from is satchel he pulled out three books about Christianity and handed me one: "Its only 50 rupees, brother, and the Lord will save you."

I'm getting Ramesh to pay my electricity bills from now on.


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