The tale of the Kuber Kulchas @gymkhana91

Suspicious looks crept up on him from every side. These were tough times to be a Bihari in Maharashtra. He smiled meaningfully to keep his fears at bay. But got zero returns on investment. Fair enough. He would consider this as a pakka loan. He beamed from ear to ear as he greeted his fellow Maharashtrian taxi drivers. But their stand was clear—it emanated from their eyes and lasered into his spirit. But he kept his cool. He sat in his taxi until a young man in an immaculately tailored business suit waved out to him. Happy to leave the union boys and their negativity, he drove up to the man and smiled again. The man sat hurriedly and said, “Please mujhe utarne ko mat bolna. Mahalakshmi jaana hai. 20 minutes se taxi nahi mil rahi hai.” He recognised the Maharashtrian accent that laced every word that the man spoke. And he waved his fears off in a second with the two words of Marathi that he knew, “Khoop Chaan.” The passenger laughed a little and replied in Hindi, “Aap Bihaar se hain?” The taxi driver clutched the wheel a little tighter, but spoke with his unflinching smile, “Haan, sahab.” There was no more conversation after that. They just co-existed in that old fiat till they reached the destination. The passenger looked into the purse and removed a 500-rupee note. “Sorry, chutta nahi hai.” The driver looked at the note ruefully and replied, “Mere paas bhi nahi hai.” The minimum fare was 22 rupees. So the driver decided to let go. He waved his hand yet again and said, “Khoop Chaan.” The passenger looked on shamefacedly as he put his car in gear. But just as he was ready to accelerate, the suited passenger knocked urgently on the window. He gave him a bag of food that he had packed from the restaurant. He looked at the packet and opened it instantly. It was full of cheesy kulchas spiced with garlic and chillies. The passenger smiled at him encouragingly, telling him to take a bite. He obliged and the man gave him an earnest smile. His loan had been paid. He smiled back at the man and said, “Khoop Chaan.”

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