Muniamma rules at KSPCB

She was the loudest and the most cheerful person around. Just what a 'story listener' like me needs. I felt that calm peaceful smile take over.

She was sympathizing with the four people who have to work on a small round table. The injustice of it all, the incomprehension of such an existence of four poor souls busy shuffling space over the smallest round table. She is not happy with the guy's (also sitting at a small table next to her, she is seated on a plastic chair adjoining the table on the side) empathy. She asks "Will you share this table with me and my files? can we work together on this table" and that hits him hard and she is now satisfied !

Amidst all the emotional conversation (more of a monologue) she managed to sneak a look at me and that smile on me face. She starts to talk to me now and i am all ears :).

She gives me the latest news at KSPCB. How a gutkha shop owner pleads with her to get KSPCB not to fine him coz he has taken advance from many for a year long supply of gutkha. She couldnt stop laughing at the future of this guy who is going to blabber out his silly future plans to KSPCB which will infuriate them further and they are going to seize the poor guy's shop, she said laughing almost villainously.

She started telling me the ill effects of gutkha and makes a smooth transition to liquor (another person who had joined us couldnt bear the embarrassment she was causing and leaves shaking his head). She goes back a few decades and narrates her first ("little hands !" she said they were school children) hands on some liquor that her father brings down for them fresh, from the palm/coconut tree. She points at her throat and shows how her father roasted the 'throat part of the goat" and roasted them over red hot coals and gave it to them to snack along with the toddy ! (wow ! what happened to all those great fathers ? - gone are the palm trees and the fathers i suppose ) She ended the story with a 'falling off of the chair' act saying how today the young drink and fall while they used to drink and be all fine and merry.

I got the next story out of her, i find out that she has been around (KSPCB) since 1992. She says they were on top of utility building and below the floor that was owned by Amjad Ali who use to run a restaurant where coffee cost Rs. 80 and tea Rs. 75. "In those days" she adds emphatically. She says they used to make the best biriyani. Now its a railway booking centre. She is remorseful. She immediately gets back to businees ordering some KSPCB official around !

Muniamma rules at KSPCB. If you get there, meet her - she is a joy !


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