yet another tale of two indias

My meat seller and I go a long way, more than 30 years I guess! He is a gentle Muslim who runs a tiny shop in a close by market. Over the years much has changed and many shopkeepers have spruced up their shops bu not Salim whose establishment takes me back three decades as I walk into it. Spotlessly clean, with many sayings from the Holy Koran displayed in garish frames, the meat neatly displayed and the large wooden blocks on which he and his son transform the meat into the cuts you want. The same smile greets you each time you enter except when you get the cold snub which the now initiated old clients know as translating into: the meat is not good enough for you today, as you quietly beat a hasty retreat.

I have always enjoyed the few moments spent in this tiny shop, where time seems to have stopped long ago and forgotten values still hold high.

Holi is a festival when in North India many cook a meat dish that goes well with all the intoxicants consumed. So yesterday was busy time at my Friend Salim's shop. Many ladies in bright clothes, a handful or servants from rich homes and innumerable phone calls with orders rapidly written on a tiny note pad.

As i waited my turn, I him if we was opened the next day which was Holi. he looked at me with a smile and said yes we are, as today it will be all the high clas people that buy their met but tomorrow we will be catering to the poor.

Yes everyone eats meat on Holi, but for those who have no refrigerators and who actually do not know how much would be left when the colours for the children have been bought, and the hooch of the day consumed. Salim keeps his shop open so that everyone can have a feat, albeit a tiny one!

Happy Holi!