Remember Asian Dub Foundation's ground-breaking album, Rafi's Revenge, featuring the Asian Zach De La Rocha, Deeder Zaman?
Well, the kid who walked away to do his own thing is back, and you can catch some of his tunes on his MySpace page.
Talking about "kids", there was this one, who's never-say-die spirit was inspiring, to say the least. So my pasta cousin and me were walking the mean streets of Janpath, our respective mothers busy doing what they do best - wasting their husband's hard-earned money. We guys went off, got McDonalds meals (the WORST fucking Macca's I've ever had. Next time, its Aloo Tikki BARGAR for me), and come back to find this 11-12 year old child trying to hawk a Vibrating-Massage-Hairbrush-gadget to the ladies. Starting price? INR 200. My mother clearly indicates she's not interested, but my maasi gives it a shot, and then says "no thank you". So the kid latches on to my cousin and me, and tries to sell the comb to us guys. He tries every trick in the book, starting with, "bhaiya, boni kara do" (boni being a concept that if your opening sale of the day is a good one, the rest of the day will be great for you), "bhaiya, aapko videsh mein masseuse ke paas nahin jaana padega" etc.
(bewakoof bacchey, masseuse ke paas jaane mein hi to mazaa hai).
We told him we weren't interested, but there he was, still touting the benefits his product would bring to our miserable lives.
Eventually, I got sick of it and took out a 20 to give him, and the kid goes, "mein bhikhari nahin hoon" (I'm not a beggar). Hats off to this kid. He wanted the money, yet he would only accept it as payment for a sale, not as alms or charity. My cousin and me (okay, mainly me) pestered him about his family, school etc., , eventually asking him if he thought I was an idiot, because nobody does BONI at like 4 pm in the evening, to which his counterargument was that he finishes school at 2.30, and then comes to work. As our conversation went on, he brought the price down to around 90 bucks, all in the name of BONI, and it makes me wonder whether to respect his persistence, or try and tell him to get over superstition. I chose the former...
...Mainly because my cousin and me decided that his dad, the real firangi would be a great target for the kid. So we told him the man with the money was the gorah, and he should sell it to him, 'coz we kids only had 20 odd rupees between the two of us. History repeated itself with Uncle Gorah, who was baffled by the child's non-acceptance of a "donation".
Left Janpath around 6ish, and lurking behind a wall, was our little warrior, kinda scared of my mother, but still with a glimmer of hope in his eye, that one of us would buy his funky wares.
What I'll never forget is "mein bhikari nahin hoon".
Work-ethic, self-respect, the never-say-die spirit. At such a tender age.
We bow to the little master.
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