Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Osi mai kadai – the shop where I got free ink for my pen


He doesn’t talk. He looks tall and healthy. Dark. Never smiled at me. We don’t talk. People in my street would talk. They would at least say hello. It is a different matter that they all know me and my family. They say hello to everyone. They are interested in knowing about everyone and everything. If you are a stranger or new to the area, you better have answer and time for all their questions. It is a bit strange for me to go to my regular shop,  still do not have ever spoken to the shop owner. I do not know whether he has never spoken to anyone or just to those kids who come to his shop to fill their ink pens. There is that ink bottle just outside counter in front of the tight row of big mittai (candy) bottles. Kept in a very convenient place for us the regulars.  An ink filler by the side too. I go there and look up. He turns inside and starts looking at his books or something. I take my pen out, open it, and fill it with the blue ink from the bottle. There it is, a little cloth thoughtfully kept by the side of the bottle. I use the cloth to wipe the pen and my hands. I look up again. He is still examining something inside his shop. I have to go as I am getting late to school. I start walking. My head turned to look back. I saw his head looking out of his shop looking at me walking. I smile. He pulled his head in. I smile again and walk fast. I am late for the school prayer.  

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