. Here was a world toShammu’s liking and it was all spontaneous and free.Only things he did not like were the carrying of heavy luggage on his head. Theexperienced coolies carried a pyramid of trunks on their head, balanced it like anaccomplished athlete and still occupied their hands with small bags. They lookedsplendid in their red uniforms with shiny brass number plates. When he was on duty, helooked for passengers with the least amount of baggage, as he did not want to strain hishead or neck.The other thing he hated was the attitude of passengers with middle or upper middle classtendencies. They thought themselves above coolies and ordinary people and shouted over him in a shrill, insulting voice. Such as ‘Oi! Coolie’ ‘ take this or that and carry itcarefully’ and at the end of the job always wanted to cut down even on his fixed fees.They were the miserable sorts who had not the capacity of generosity of heart, by givinghim like a little baksheesh sometime.After the end of his duty, while going home, he began to pass through the big bazaar tolook at the shops, people and specially sellers of hot peanuts, jasmined garlands,astrologers and their green parakeets. Once he saw an illuminated sign called ‘ParadiseHouse’ across the street and out of curiosity went into it. He liked the green bulbs andelectric lights illuminating the whole place into a haze of green. People were sitting onthe tables and chairs drinking, laughing and enjoying themselves. Soon he realized that itwas sharab
or a drinking place. To observe the people closely, he sat on a chair andthe waiter came running for his order. He did not know anything about drinks but somehow ordered half a glass of
and when he took the first sip it was like a fireand nearly choked him. He thought people were looking at him out of curiosity. Hesteadied himself and slowly began to take more sips. Soon the burning sensation ceasedand a sort of heightened calm issued forth. He liked it.He thought he had found a heaven in the drinking house and began to frequent it moreoften. His life was on the right track with gifts of railway station and the drinking housethrown in. Sometime he had too much to drink and when he went home, he was greatlyrebuked by his mother and other family members. One day when during his drinkingsession at the
, he was visited by a hawker selling sweet mangoes and when hetasted it, oh God it was like something he had never tasted. Its thick sour sweet juice hada profound effect on his palette, which went straight to his stomach and gullet perfumingit, like the
. He resolved to buy some ripe sweet mangoes himself on thefollowing day, together with an icebox to cool them.On the following day after finishing his work he brought a kilo of best mangoes in themarkets, an icebox and a slab of ice from the shop; wrapped it around in a woolengarment to carry it home. He washed the mangoes, mashed the ice and put the mangoesinto the icebox packing it with the mashed ice. He reckoned that it would take about twohours for the mangoes to be ready. In the meantime he would walk around the bazaar toget into the right mood swing.