”There are two kinds of pumpkins”said my wife,”one is long and green, , it’s called kaddu.The other is round and yellow. It is called peetha.In delhi, people sometimes refer to both as kaddu. Don’t get confused. Bring petha and not kaddu. The sabziwali outside the yamuna apartsment knows. Tell her that tara apartsment wali mataji has sent you. She will understand. ”
I went straight to the sabjiwali outside the yamuna apartments. I had to. My wife was down with pain and the doctor had advised her not to climb even staircases. Buying vegetables in normal times is exclusively her responsebility. She doesn’t want me even to accompany her while discharging this responsibility.
She thinks that if I do, people always quote high rates. I have never been able to understand the logic behind her argument. In any cases, I am not bothered. It suits all husband not to try to understand many things their wives do or say. And that’s God’s truth.
The sabjiwali outside the yamuna apartments was kind enough to enquire about mataji health and understood what she required. still ,in order not to risk anything, I asked a young south indian lady also buying vegetables whether the round pumpin the sabjiwali had given was the same that my wife had asked me to bring . She looked at me ,smiled and said it was the same ,adding helpfully that the punjabi’s called ut petha also.
Sh also explained to me that petha had the same colour inside as outside ,whil kaddu was white inside and green outside. I enquired the rate from the sabjiwali. She said magnanimously,”for others, it is ten rupees a kilo ,for you, it os eight rupees. How much shall I weight out for you?”
Th question floored me completely. For while my wife had explained to me the difference between kaddu and petha, she had forgotten to mentioned the quality I should buy. I looked towards the young south indian ladg again, almost imploringly, and requested her to tell me how much I should purchase. That, she retprted smilingly, depends on how much you would like to eat.
”We are just two,”I said,”and we are not heavy eaters.”
I bought a kilo of the darned thing and lugged it home. My wife was happy that I had passed the test. The credit for this of course goes to the unknown but gentle south indian lady. For if she happens to read this piece may I say,”thank you ,kindly madam”.