aye dil hai mushkil jeena yahan,......,yaha bambai meri jaan.i was reminded of this very hummable song from 'cid' a very old dev anand starring movie y'day when i decided to leave my office during lunchtime and visit my old parsi bonesetter located in the fort area near pherozshah mehta road.don't get me wrong,i haven't broken any bones yet.i only stretched a ligament in my back while trying to lift something very heavy.what a stupid thing to do.and i am partly decommissioned due to this temporary disability.this doc's dad was the one who saved me nearly 40 years ago when i dislocated my left shoulder in the bombay gym swimming pool.the nearest place i could be rushed to then was dr hadvaid's clinic and the grand old man set it right in a jiffy.since then,i must have had a million dislocations which i have learnt to put back on my own.
while returning from the doctor's clinic,i felt very hungry as i had not had any lunch.i decided to tryout something novel.while i was on the lookout for an eating place during this return walking journey of 20 minutes,i saw a huge crowd in a corner of sir pm road.i saw something amazing,what i had never seen before.three guys sitting facing one another.a small center table.fresh fruits in a huge basket.papaya,pineapple,water melon.one was peeling the skin off, the other two cutting them into big pieces and serving them on a4 size papers.all done with great speed and clinical efficiency.i decided to try and took a plate for ten bucks.chunks of fresh fruits for lunch.something i have never done. garnished with some salt and pepper.it was heavenly.within a few minutes i finished it as there was enough room for me to move to a corner and eat the fruits without any push or pull.there must have been atleast 50 people,when i was there,clamouring for their plates.there was a big basket kept for throwing the paper plate out.ecologically friendly,open-air,good for the health,pretty inexpensive and all within a few minutes.this is mumbai.meri jaan . i then realised that though i am so fond of kolkata,i have actually lived for a longer period in mumbai.and mumbai is my home anyway now.
i mentioned about this experience to a colleague of mine late in the evening when we were returning home.i was not surprised when he said that the fruitwalla's net earnings would be about rs 3000 per day.no fixed costs,no electricity bills,no credit,no tax.all hard cash.that is the way to earn!