February 16, 2006

The Light of Prosperity

Beyond Navelim, and Sanquelim there aren’t many places where you can stop by for tea. The few that exist are sleepy. I like them for their stillness. The one we walked into had wooden tables of unknown antiquity, placed in two neat rows near the front of the inn. A low wall at the back partitioned the room. Behind the low wall a gas stove hissed. There was no door to the kitchen. I stepped up to the opening and smiled at the cook. I believe he owns the place. The kitchen itself is a small one, made up of a blackened kettle, and a few utensils. The place serves pao bhaji. We opted for tea. Raju bought biscuits from the adjacent shop to go with tea. Donald and Ajay drank in silence. Outside, two elderly men sat on chairs. One was engrossed in a local newspaper. The other man sat in silence, his eyes peeled out for activity on the road outside; there was none though. Only occasionally a vehicle passed that way. Inside, a picture of goddess Lakshmi, garlanded, looks over the cash counter beneath. I walk up to the wall and look up at the deity. She is associated with prosperity, and her image is commonly found adorning shops, inns, and homes across India. There is something about the zero bulb I found riveting. I can't place my finger on it though.

No comments: