My attempt to cross the road came to nothing because a Ferari disguised as a souped up Ambi shot down NorthMain Road and nearly bowled me over. So I waited then dashed across, stopped dead in my tracks as two cars zipped past on either side of me and a motorcyclist knocked my sling bag off my shoulders. Fortunately there was nothing of worth in the bag and I scrambled across to the other side.
‘People like you shouldn’t be out on the streets,’ said the stud leaning against his fancy four wheeler. ‘But if you insist, you should hire an auto to take you across the road.’
‘Thanks,’ I said courteously, ‘most helpful of you to share your wisdom with me.’
‘My pleasure, anytime anyplace, I’m always around to give gyaan wherever needed. That’s why they call me the Gyaan Guru.’
‘That’s impressive. Gyaan Guru. What’s my bill?’
‘Yes, my bill, I got some gyaan from you. Don’t I have to pay for it?’
‘Nope, this one time is free. On the house. Next time I’ll charge you.’
‘Seriously, do they really call you Gyaan Guru?’ I enquired.
‘Yes of course Uncleji. I practice everything from numerology, astrology, palmistry, I read shadows, read auras, I read everything… you name it and I can read it. Okay? Here’s my card.’
‘Hi Guru,’ cood a voice from somewhere behind me. I turned around to see a silver adorned woman floating out of a limo. She stood there and looked at him, your car or mine?’
Before he knew what to say, she bundled him in and drove off. They had hardly gone far down the road when a towing van turned up and carried his car off. ‘Good bye Guru Vahan,’ I said quietly to the departing vehicle. Of course it could not reply.
I heaved a sigh and walked on, popping into my usual General Stores which has taken on the avatar of a ‘super market’. ‘Namaste Sirji,’ said the earringed Rajasthani behind the counter. I nodded in response and went about going through my shopping list. When I finally got to the counter, the young fellow’s Dad was there. ‘Sirji, this is my Papa.’ So I got chitchatting with Papaji. One thing led to another and Papji asked, ‘can I look at your fingers?’
‘Sure,’ I said, ‘which hand?’
So I showed him both.
‘Hmmm,’ he looked at them carefully and continued, ‘your retirement years continue to be a little bumpy. A few misunderstandings with your grandchildren will come up but don’t take them too seriously, they’ll pass. Feed a white crow one egg everyday for three days and all will be well.’
I thanked him even though I do not have grandchildren and I have notyet retired. Did not want to disappoint him. ‘You have a wise Papa,’ I said to the earringed young man. He smiled.
I’ve always felt that everything that happens to us comes in threes. If I have met two ‘gurus’, sure a third must be hanging around somewhere, waiting for me to trip over him. Ah, sure enough, just down the road from the semi super market was the line of ‘Kashmiri’ shops selling all sorts of semi precious stones, silver jewellery, brassware and other antique whatnots. My friend Ali called out to me, ‘Hiya Boss, where are you going to in such a hurry. Come and share some Kashmiri tea with me.’
So I stopped by for a small glass of piping hot tea. Along with the tea I was treated to a display of newly acquired stones. ‘These are lucky stones for those who are number 1, 3 or 7,’ he said knowledgeably, then launched into an explanation about the benefits of wearing the stones. Midway, he lost me as I sat there smiling to myself and thinking about how lucky I am to be living in Pune, the city of Gurus….. surely, we are the Chosen Ones.