A conversation overheard during the Ganapati immersion procession on Laxmi Road on Wednesday (To say that the street was crowded is an understatement. If you had a place to stand comfortably near the roadside, consider yourself lucky, and lucky this writer was, standing behind two men gossiping away.):
Man 1: Nice seeing you after a long time. You look happy.
Man 2: Yeah. My house is finally done, without me having to spend too much money.
Man 1: How?
Man 2: You know I have been doing my house for the last two years.
Man 1: Yes. Instead of buying a flat, you decided to buy a plot and build you own bungalow.
Man 1: And I was broke soon after. I had spend all my money in the plot itself. After that, I was doing it fits and starts, a wall there, a floor here.
Man 1: And it’s finally done.
Man 2: Yes, thanks to the PMC.
Man 1: Where does PMC come into the picture?
Man 2: Thanks to the PMC that they decided to fit tiles on the footpath on FC Road.
Man 1: I don't understand.
Man 2: As you know, the floor work in my house was still pending. A few days ago, I was walking on the footpath on FC Road. I stumbled and nearly fell. Then I saw the tiles beneath my feet, loosely fitted, and slippery after the rain. I bent down and picked up one tile. It was a nice quality product. I thought what if I take this one home. Nobody would notice for sure. And I’ll put this to a good use. But you know, one tile was not sufficient. So, I made a few more trips, this time on my two-wheeler.
Man 1: And your floor is done?
(This eavesdropper couldn’t hear what the second man said as a mandal had just landed in front of us, filling the atmosphere with their music. [P.S. This eavesdropper has taken the liberty to translate the conversation from original Marathi.].)
— Dibyajyoti Sarma