August 29, 2008

A miser Out there In the Market

Niranjan was a central government servant and on duty matter, he along with other colleagues would travel to Kolkatta.  As per their duty schedules, they would have their suppers there only.  Once in a summer evening, he along with one of his colleagues called Prem, went to the market to have their meals.   On the way, they visited a local market to buy some mangoes.  
The strolled along the market asking rates of different varieties of mangoes.  Niranjan had special interest in doing so as that was inherent to his nature.  They stopped seeing a woman selling Bombaiya variety of mangoes. 
“How is  mango?” Asked Niranjan to her showing a mango.
“30 rupees per kilogram,” she replied.
“Tell me correctly we’ll buy 4 kilograms,” he said sporting his usual dry smile. 
“How much do you want to buy?” The woman seemed to show sign of coming down and relaxation.  
“Prem you take 2 kilograms and I will take the same quantity.”  
Prem, thought and thought about his requirements of mangoes.  He thought, “I am alone and having no refrigerator, what is the use of two kilograms of mangoes.”  However, he settled for one kilogram. 
He was wise enough to understand the intention of Niranjan.  It was only a trap laid by Niranjan only to lower the rate of mango.  In the end, Niranjan only saved rupees two or three.   
“Give me a slice of mango to taste.”  Niranjan said to the woman. 
“Give me a mango that I just sold to you, I would cut a piece for you to taste.”
“Ae, Prem babu, give him a mango.”  
“Wah, he is taking 2 kilograms and still want a mango from my one kilogram.  Clever indeed.”  Prem thought.  Nevertheless, later gave one, as he had no culture to say no.  Further, he was respecting Niranjan as he was senior to him.  
Both tasted a slice each.  Now Nirnajan’s craving eyes fall on the rest of the mango along with the stone.   
“Ae Prem, what’ll you do with the rest of mango?” 
“I will take it with me as I could not leave the same here.”
“What I was saying….” he paused and continued, “How about cutting that and eating with our meals?”  He seemed to have engulfed the complete mango with his craving eyes.
They went to a restaurant and ordered their meals.  Prem ordered Mix Vegetable and Niranjan ordered Paneer Masala.  They went on eating punctuated by slice of mango.   Niranjan’s hand was working like a machine as Prem only ate two slices of mangoes.   Greedy Niranjan guzzled all without waiting for Prem’s turn.  Prem was eating slowly and Niranjan waited for him to finish.  He saw Prem leaving the oily part of the Mix Vegetable.  “Prem would not you eat those?” 
“No, it is oily.”
 Had Prem told otherwise, he was ready to lick those oily residues.  However, he didn’t.  Both went to the basin.  Niranjan as he had finished eating first would have washed his hands before Prem but he waited for him to wash first.   He only lingered, as he was not in a mind to pay.  Later Prem paid as he had washed beforehand.  
 “I would not go with this miser once again, a miser out and out.  Moreover, how his guts permitted to tell all those things god knows.  These species of people save good amount of money for their posterity as they live by seeing their bank balance.”  Prem later narrated to his other colleagues.