It’s said that the smallest of actions, the shortest of words and the most subtle of reactions do certainly have an impact on this big, badly beautiful world. Whoever said/ plagiarised it, wasn't faking it! And it was this very hug that made me actually understand the meaning of these spiritual-cum-philosophical lines. Earlier, I would think that it was just a random guy trying to mint money from his book comprising of such lines.
It was just a month back when I was taking a stroll on Bandstand promenade, which is incidentally the same place where both Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan have their plush residences. Like every other day, it felt refreshing; the breeze swept along with the slight drizzle. The partially wet mud had begun to emit its unique fragrance. People walked, jogged, lazed and gossiped. Some like me; ‘stared’ - let’s make me and the rest who stared look more productive. Some like me; ‘observed’.
So I observed; the meagre sounds of a tiff, coming from a distance, slowly pricked my ear drums. The volume of this unpleasant sound increased at the same rate at which people turned heads in a particular direction. Yes, a fight was in progress. People flocked to the exact site to get the best view of two beings engaged in a verbal spat lavishly garnished with a multi-lingual stream of abuses.
‘Dude, this is as entertaining as an open theatre’ said the guy with dreadlocks to another bald guy as they passed by me to go to the “entertaining spot”.
‘It’s the SRK-Salman war - sequel 2’ replied the bald guy.
For a moment I wondered if a film shoot was going on. Or maybe it was just the lovely media bugs that had come to churn out some buzz-creating honey. And just how randomly we get thoughts, the next thought I got was ‘I'm hungry’. So I decided to head back home, and yes I had to pass “the spot” to get home. There was neither a film shoot going on, nor was the media there to drill or grill.
So what exactly was happening at the “entertaining spot”?
I was stranded in my car as the two stars of this real tiff – Mohan chatwala and Ritesh chaiwala argued on how Ritesh approached Mohan’s customer, Bill at 8:30 p.m. Bill, after his jog everyday, would eat chat prepared by Mohan at 8:30 pm. But this very day Bill drank Ritesh’s chai, instead of eating Mohan’s daily chat. This was because Ritesh approached Bill at 8:30 p.m. asking him to buy some chai. And Bill agreed.
Got it? No?
I can’t help it. Re-read!
Back to the scene
It could clearly be seen that Mohan was in high spirits to fight. He refused a plate of sev puri to a passerby, who took the risk to interrupt their fight asking for sev puri.
I had to honk. I couldn’t stay there till their fight terminated. I was hungry, and neither Ritesh nor Mohan would give me chai or chat until they had filled their tummies with a good dose of this fight. Before I could honk, I managed to hear another of their furious verses said in Hindi. I'm translating it for the convenience of worldwide audiences.
‘You are just like Sallu, harsh and mean’ blurted Ritesh to Mohan, while pointing at the bungalow where Salman Khan lives. So clearly Ritesh didn’t like SK.
‘At least I don’t crack dumb jokes on people, like the person whom you admire, SRK (Mohan repeated the K to create a spoof out of a film’s scene) replied Mohan. Clearly, Ritesh preferred SRK.
People seemed amused. I honked, honked and honked once again before I drove off.
The very next day I noticed both Mohan and Ritesh having placed their stalls at two extremes of the street. And thereafter I noticed them at different ends every day until recently....
So until recently, when the news of SRK and SK hugging spread, nothing changed! Or I thought so until I went for my regular stroll. Mohan and Ritesh laughed while serving customers chat and chai. Their stalls stood beside each other. I saw the same bald guy walk up to the tea stall. He didn't seem amused. He waited for his plate of chat as he sweated profusely.
‘I'm sorry again’ Mohan tapped on Ritesh’s shoulder while squeezing some lemon onto the ingredients in the plate.
‘Now that they have hugged, we too can, isn’t it?’ Ritesh proceeded to hug Mohan.
‘Are... please hurry up Mohan bhai’ ordered the bald guy in an irritated fashion.
‘Yes, yes’ Mohan spoke as Ritesh hugged him.
Mohan swiftly dropped some coriander chopping onto the plate and gave it to the bald man.
So it’s just one hug, why is the media making such a big deal out of it? This is what people are discussing now. A few hours back, somebody asked me ‘Is it so important that it has to come on the front page of Mumbai Mirror?’
I don’t know. Nor do I care. What I know is that I've realised that every action that we make has an impact on this universe, be it hugging somebody, proposing somebody, greeting a neighbour, appreciating leaves, reading these words or smiling. No act is impact less.