Before you read this, read Part 2: A Canopy of a Trouble
Star Bazaar happens to be a ten-minute walk away from the place I have rented. And it also happens to be the only place where you get just about everything. But of course, not everything is easily spotted. It's just like the children's bedroom: Things are all about the place. You don't see the method to its order, but the children will. So it's best to ask them. Which is why, instead of rummaging through the floors, I asked the floor executive - a 20-something whose hair was the exact shade of her trousers – for directions.
"Yes sir, oh umbrella hmm?"
I said yes, hmm, I need an umbrella.
"Oh sir; go straight, turn left, and then go up. They are in the mehndiwallahs' backside."
"Oh mehndiwallahs! I see. Are they anywhere else as well?"
"No sir!" she replied as if I needed babysitting, "as I said, all the umbrellas are behind the mehndiwallahs!"
Well, so before they all eloped with the mehndiwallas and landed in their backsides, I decided I had might as well make haste and go grab one. As it is, this was August. And I was not quite sure how many may have stayed behind. Marrying a mehndiwallah is not exactly a dream come true for an umbrella. And the mall itself would rather have them sold than bless such an unholy union.
I went straight, turned left and took the escalator up.
And right enough, there they were - sitting in the 'backside'. They were umbrellas, all right. But not the ones I could buy! Usually, I buy the characterless pitch black umbrella - you know, the one that is say, a foot long and has a tired shiny pin nailing a strap to its handle. It's a very unobtrusive model that every blasted man buys and doesn't bother about till the next monsoon. You can call it a very 'manly' umbrella - one that doesn't talk much, broods about in the rain, and doesn't bother about its appearances.
The ones here though were anything but that. ...To be continued...