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Dotola Ghor

Sunder And Sonati

As newly-weds
Walking the streets of her hometown
She said
Let's go meet my grandfather's brother
There
In that Dotola

We went in
And met Orin Ata
Who greeted me as Brother
Insisted on our having lunch
(With a special omelette
For the vegetarian jamai)
And told her
Since you have married
A South Indian
You must follow
All their niyams
And become
A South Indian
Yourself

When Orin Ata passed on
We received a letter
From the Dotola Ghor
From Babul jetha saying
Now I am the new Dotola Bura

The next time we visited
That Dotola Ghor
Was twenty-five years later
With two strapping lads

Badol kaku and Lata kakima
Gave us tea and biscuits
And the ubiquitous omelette
(What on earth does one feed
A vegetarian jamai?)

Badol kaku hailed me as
The best jamai
See how well he speaks
Our Deshi bhaasha

A few months ago
We received a phone call
And learnt that
That visit to the Dotola Ghor
Was our last

The heirs had decided
To sell
The house had been knocked down
Its teak floorboards sold

What will we find there
There where the Dotola ghor stood
For so many years
I wonder

No Dotola Bura to invite us in
No-one to call me Brother
No-one to hail me as the best jamai
No omelettes