Saturday, March 20, 2010

Love and longing in Vienna

Are you from India? Do you speak Hindi? Asked the young lady behind the counter at Tibet Restaurant in Vienna.
Han main Hindi hi janta hoon, angrezi tho bus pet palne ke liye seekhi hai (I know Hindi only, learnt English to make both ends meet), I replied.
'Please pay me just what is there in the bill.'
No please, you have served us delicious dinner, I must pay this. I insisted to tip after having dinner with Vivien, my Viennese friend, at the restaurant near State opera house (Volksoper).
'Nahi, nahi aap isse rakh lijiye, nahi tho mujhko bahut dukh hoga..Aap India se aaya hai…Main aapse kuch bhi nahi loongi' (Please keep it. You are from India and I won’t accept any tip. I will be hurt if you pay this).
I saw her moist eyes and heard her quivering voice. I kept the money silently.
I asked Tenzin Choeky, a lady with dark hair, beautiful eyes, English accent and North East Indian features, if she was from India?
'Yes, I am from India.'
Manipur or Assam?
'No, I came from Darjeeling. I am a Tibetan', gently she said.
I kept her visiting card in my wallet and got out swiftly.
Vivien said, for only three Euros both of you were arguing for 10 minutes!
I kept mum and barely managed to say, yes…
She wrote the tube number and bus number on a piece of paper for me and we went together till Wahringer Street, Metro station.
It was 11 in the night. We had to go in two different directions.
'There is nothing like a good company...', so said an unknown budding actress, who I befriended the day before in Vienna.
Waiting for the last Metro, my eyes were wandering, my heart was longing and I was listening to a voice…. Tibet! Tibet! Tibet!
(In the pic, Tibet Restaurant in Vienna, Austria)


roopa said...

Wow! Arvind! What a piece of memory!I always had admired your writing skills, couldn't read much of your work though (no patience spend hours trying to read hindi, am very slow). This one touched my heart. Meeting a unknown person, somewhere, a very short interaction becoming a beautiful memory, well depicted! Thanks for sharing this in English.

Flipflop, Clawback and Ananas said...

Arvind ji, beautifully written, it was a lovely reading.

Arvind Das said...

@ Roopa, Thank you very much. I am happy to know that you liked it:)

@ Sarweshwar Bhai, English is not my first language but I tried to put it in English as some friends were insisting ...Thank you very much for appreciation...:)