The days I run out of gas (the LPG kind … the other kind I seem to have enough supply for seven janams) stand out as red letter days in my life. There was the first time, when it ran out on the day my fussy family arrived and then my mom and aunt, tired from a two and a half day train journey cooked a full South Indian meal for six people using an electric rice cooker. That was the day I realised what the pioneer woman spirit was, and that I certainly did not have it.
Then there was the ‘miracle’ day that it ran out while I had left the stove on. Came back home, clicked lighter a couple of times and then realised what had happened. That was (one of) the days I realised how death walks very much in step with life.
And then was one calm day when it ran out with no one at all around. And I lugged the cylinder to the depot and a full one back and screwed on the regulator myself. (After much cursing.., but still I did it). That was the day I realised I might have SOME pioneering woman spirit after all.
Finally, there is today – when the Gujjars decided to hold the nation’s capital to ransom. I was already unsympathetic to their cause but doing thod-phod on MG Road which is precisely where Manjit Gas Agency is located, and denying me my dosai and my cup of chai has permanently alienated me. ST status. Hmph ! On the other hand, it did motivate friends to come home bearing baby, picnic basket, much cheer and home made kulfi. Sigh. Now is it Hmph or Hurray?