Tomatoes and Paracetamol

November 6, 2008

I want to tell you today about my vegetable seller.

I just moved to a new house in Jaipur and tonight was the first time I went to the local market. I bought tomatoes and cucumbers and then asked the sabzi-wallah (vegetable seller ) where was the nearest chemist. I had a bad migraine coming up and I really needed some pills. He pointed towards a shop down the road and I walked there, only to find it shut.

I went back to the sabzi-wallah and asked him to direct me to another chemist. He did, and again I went, leaving my shopping bags with him. Again the shop was closed.

So I went back to collect my bags, thinking I’ll get my pills first thing the next morning.

But as I told him so, the vegetable seller waved and called for a little man sitting across the road, drinking tea. He told me this guy worked at the chemist and would go get my pills if I wrote down the name on a paper. I did, and five minutes later the man came back with my medicine. He had cycled down the road, opened the shop and got it for me.

I tried to give him a tip but I was loudly told off by the vegetable seller, who forbade me to give any money to his friend. I insisted, but he wouldn’t take it.

So I thanked them both profusely and walked back home, amazed by such kindness and happy, for once, to be living in such a crazy country.

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