Just choosing an umbrella..!


WITH the rains expected I decided to go over to the umbrella store and chose a good sturdy one to beat the monsoons. I was a little surprised to see a much wider range than they had the year before. “Are you a student sir?” asked the pleasant looking salesman inside the store.
“What difference would that make?” I asked equally pleasantly. “The student kind have extra strong steel ribs inside that are able to with stand a lathi charge,” he said without a change in his pleasant face, “and instead of cloth we use tarpaulin to withstand water cannons during a morcha or bandh!”
I told him I wasn’t a student and we moved into the interiors of the shop, “Would sir want a transparent one or one which will safeguard his privacy?”
“I wonder what privacy there is to safe guard in the rains!” I laughed and the pleasant looking salesman laughed with me, “ I assume sir is single?” “Why should you assume that?” I asked a little crossly.
“Because if your madam walks a little close to you in the monsoon, or if sir has forgotten to put his top shirt button, the moral police will immediately arrest you!” I told the young salesman that my wife and I kept a decent distance between us even during the rains, “And I always wear my top button,” I shouted.
“But sir you have a beard!” said the owner coming quickly as soon as he heard my raised voice. “So what?” I shouted.
“You could be mistaken for a terrorist!” said the owner and the salesman smiled at his owner, looked at me and nodded in agreement. “I’ll take the one that isn’t transparent!” I whispered and the pleasant looking salesman smiled his approval as his boss went back to the counter. I looked at the different handles and decided to take the curved one.
“Don’t!” hissed the salesman. “Why?” I asked sharply pulling my hand away. “It’s the same shape as the finance minister’s walking stick,” he said. “So what?” I asked, “I have no such dislike for the minister to avoid choosing something that looks like his stick!” “But you will be mistaken for forcing a new tax on the public, the handle might give you away, and the people may lynch you!”.
I had no idea it was so difficult choosing an umbrella and walked out and into the raincoat shop next door. “Do you want a thin plastic type or a canvas one sir?” asked another pleasant looking salesman. “To beat the water cannons, the moral police and the HRD minister isn’t it?” I asked laughing hysterically. “Just to beat the monsoons sir..!” said the salesman and looked at me strangely.