Muck travels aroundMature

hey there. This is a vignette of sorts, or a serious of loosely based textual routines somewhat imitating comedy sketches , and is a way of looking at things in my country (India). It would be lovely to have you write things from your point-of-view! The selection features letters of absurd complaint sent to sweet shops in India, science fiction films happening for real in the most crowded cities, delightful helpings of absurd non sense, and depressing doses of black humor. I hope it all goes do

The Proprietor

Jagannath Sweets

31/5 Church Road


New Delhi


Even as you’re thinking hard about the identity of the strange, derelict fellow with a wispy beard who dropped off this letter at your esteemed sweatshop, dare I suggest you drop the idea immediately? Because the very fact that you’re reading this letter means you’re not going to see my face ever again. Don’t be mistaken. This is not a complaint, nor is it a letter of accusation. I’m simply going to apprise you of the sticky situation I found myself in, after having consumed a bowl of your famous, piping hot gulabjamuns. No pun intended here.

Sir, this situation is stickier than Mr. Sticky, the sticky insect sitting on a plate of sticky sugar plums, and having his sticky sticked. Now I’m a big fan of gulabjamuns and consider them one of the best remedies for a certain condition, which we in the circle call “munchies”. And when beset with the said condition, it is not possible to follow social convention while having the jamuns, or anything sweet for that matter. So there I was, stuffing my mouth with the jamuns at a rate faster than I could swallow, mouth dripping with the sugary syrup and mind completely oblivious to a million stares.

1. Now, despite the desperation on my part at wolfing down the jamuns, I realized a little later that I was not provided with tissue papers. And then, owing to the enhanced state I was in, it occurred to me that there’s never been a time at your sweetshop that I’ve received tissues with the gulabjamuns; or for that matter with any other food item that requires a ceremonial wipe of the hand.

After pondering over the situation awhile, I was forced to bring the matter to the man behind the counter. On being asked for tissues, the man simply pointed my nose to the corner of the shop where they wash the utensils, probably signaling me to wash my hands there. But to my utter horror, I saw utensils in all shapes and sizes, including those similar to the one I’d freshly had my gulabjamuns from,  swimming in water which possessed the colour , consistency and chemical composition of sewerage.

Sir, such visual assault was too much for me. After gathering my bearings, and in a bid to save my olfactory senses from a similar assault, I quickly ran out. But in the process, I forgot that my fingers were still stained and sticky with the syrup from the gulabjamuns.

2.  So far so good. All I had to do was go back to my place and wipe my hands clean. But imagine my plight, of all times, I bump into an extremely attractive acquaintance of mine from my neighbourhood at this hour.  Soon, I was crying out  ‘Oh my woe, spring my tide with the tears of this tragedy of mine and cut off my ears for ye’ , and similar Shakespearean laments.

Now not wanting to waste your time, allow me to fast forward to the situation that brought me the immeasurable agony. Little knowing that my sticky hands had gathered a lot of dirt and grime while on our way back to my room, (and also the fan following of two stray dogs and their humble mother, who had been kind enough to bark annoyingly at me and tug at my trousers for noticing their sickly sweet smell);  I was horrified to find it all imprinted on her lovely white shirt (which enclosed glorious and perfect bosoms under them) while I was trying to take it off. Plus, by now I also noticed some dead flies, or what remained of them, sticking to my palms.

All of this happened so suddenly and it was yet to sink in, when the damsel whose dress I’d just desecrated got up abruptly and gave me an earful about hygiene – she really shuddered to think about the sanitary plight of my privates if such was the condition of my hands. My protests, excuses and pleading fell on deaf ears, and quite validly so, for which distinguished-looking lady of this time and age (the 21st century) would entrust herself to someone who couldn’t maintain the most basic decorum of cleanliness? (However, things like dirt fetishes and excreta fetishes haven’t been included in this discussion.)

Needless to say, I was left shame-faced and with an extremely disturbed psychology; not to mention deprived of some hot “action”. Which is also why this letter has made its way into your hands.

Now I don’t need to stress more on the fact that your gulabjamuns and my plight do share a causal connection, as that much is more than evident. Sure, it was a chain of events that led to the disaster, but one can trace the root cause of all this trouble to a lack of tissues at your sweetshop.  Needless to say, one’s local sweetshop should really be made resonsible for its customers’ need for hygiene, insanity and unrelenting sexual urges.  Therefore, I felt the need to alert you to this glaring slip-up and urge you to take appropriate steps in ensuring an abundant supply of tissues for all your valuable patrons. God forbid anyone should meet the ill-fate I’d befallen.

Yours persistently

The End

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