Sunday, 27 December 2015

3 Cups of Ice cream

12510 Guawahati Bangalore SF Express
3 AC - B1 - 09

23/12/2015  5:30 PM

As the train pulls into Vizag station.. I hear a man shouting 'Ice cream'.. Half the compartment is sleeping, all the seats are down, I sit up stooped adjusting my head against the middle berth hanging above me. I peep into the bogie passage excited, I stop the ice cream vendor and ask him what ice creams he's got. Before his response hits my eardrums he opens a vanilla ice cream cup, pokes a wooden flat spoon into it, keeps it on my seat and its now considered sold.

It does irk me a bit but I do like vanilla (or any ice cream for that matter ;) ) so I ask how much its for.. 

Vendor : 20 rupay
Me : Aap ke paas change hoga? 500 ka? (I ask in anticipation of a "nahi madam")
Vendor : haan dijiye

A little surprised and a little happy I keep my phone down on my seat and reach out to my wallet to get the Rs. 500/- note. While I hand it over to him he picks up my phone, keeps it back a little closer to me saying:

Vendor: phone sambhal k rakhiye madam koi utha lega

Me: kaise utha lega mere samne rakha hai!

Vendor: woh leke bhaag gaya toh aap bhaagengi kya?

Me: Arrey itna bhara hua train hai kahan bhaag lega? Anyways aap mera change dedo

Meanwhile he has kept his small carton of ice creams on my seat and has taken out his bundle of notes.
He counts the change to be handed over to me for the 2nd time.

Its around 5:30 and a little dark as the lights of our compartment are still off and our only source of light is the setting sun of Vizag reaching out to us through the tinted AC coach windows..

With a little bit of attention I see him counting 7 notes swiftly. He folds them up and hands them over to me.. But wait! It should be 8 notes right! (4 - 100s , 1 - 50 & 3 - 10s). So obviously he's made a mistake coz I had not noticed any twenties when he was counting it.. I count the notes n before I finish my response - "bhaiya apne 10 kam diye HELLO!", he has taken off, at a pretty good speed.

Co-passenger : woh toh chala gaya
Me: uska ice cream box toh yahin hai

I check the ice cream box and there are 2 more cups left. A minute later the train departs from Vizag, I finish my ice cream and peep left & right into the bogie passage as I keep the empty cup down, no sign of the vendor. The ice cream box sits by my side leaving me confused about what had just happened. 

The vendor sells the ice cream at Rs.20 per cup. He handed me over 1 cup, left behind 2 cups and ran away with Rs. 30/-.

I'm left wondering:
Did he leave it there so that he can come back n pick a fight with me? Did he leave it in a hurry? He literally stole Rs 10 from me!! Wat the heck! I'm not giving his ice cream box till I get my Rs 10 back!!

15 mins later: 
He gotta be back. He cant just leave his stuff behind like that, he must be having supervisors who keep a count. (He was dressed in a kind of uniform, black shirt, black trousers, Some yellow red logo embroidered on his shirt, meals on wheels logo I guess).

30 mins passes by and still no sign of him. A 2nd look at the cups tells me if I wait further the ice creams would melt and he wont be able to sell it anyways. So I should eat them while they are still edible ;)

And thats how I got to eat 3 cups of ice cream!! 

And I'm still left wondering why the vendor left them behind.