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  #11  
Old Friday, August 18, 2017
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Samosa, a story by an IAS aspirant.

It was almost 6 in the evening and my stomach had begun to grumble. I got up from the chair, stretched my body and my spine, knocked on my friend’s door and with no response, assumed that he was asleep. So I headed out for tea and snacks alone.

I was in for a surprise that evening. While at the snack thela I was lucky enough to get to read an incisive article about inflation, bank rates and the Reserve Bank of India. It, briefly but adequately, covered the inception of RBI in 1935, it’s history, it’s functions, its various Governors and their stances (Dovish or Hawkish) in the context of the then economic scenarios and the present policies up to last year, summarized in a single page. It seemed to be painstakingly compiled from various sources - newspaper reports, magazines, official websites of RBI and other banks and various books about Indian economy. Calling it detailed, crisp and exquisite would be a gross understatement.

And it was personal too. Written, most probably, by someone like myself. By hand. I mean pen on paper, not computer. With all the associated idiosyncrasies. The ‘a’ in ‘monetary’ looked like an ‘e’ but did not create any confusion. The y’s and the g’s ended with a grand flourish, as did the capital ‘S’. A few words were scratched out and replaced by better alternatives with the typical inverted V sign ‘^’ - to make the article sound more technical and thus add the required gravitas. And I was pained by it. But I still continued reading it.

“And although Governor Raghu Ram Rajan has often been accused of being hawkish and anti-growth, his concern about monetary transmission is genuine. It is the cause of…”

I paused and looked up for a brief moment. People around me were looking at me weirdly. Understandably. For them, I was staring intently at a samosa for the last 5 minutes with a look of admiration and amazement on my face.

I moved the samosa which was covering the bottom half of the article and resumed reading till a big red spot from carelessly ladled imli chatni formed a definitive full stop on the paper.

I finished the samosa and chai, stuffed the oily paper in my pocket and simultaneously pulled out a 50. The thelawala, while handing back the change, smiled and said “Bhaiya, aaj dost nahi aaye aapke?”. Did he know? I chuckled to myself. I pocketed the change, while witnessing him mercilessly tear out pages from the same stapled bunch, as more customers arrived. I headed for my room.

As I opened the door I was greeted by a big heap of my own handwritten notes. And a second pile of notes belonging to this year’s topper, branded in the claustrophobic lanes of Old Rajinder Nagar in Delhi as some kind of elixir, and being sold for a fortune. Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out the paper, which by now had become translucent in areas where the samosa had made an extended stay. I unfolded it and place it in the middle of my own pile of pages reverentially.

And for the next few minutes I stared at the two stacks and wondered about the fate of my own notes.

The samosa had left a bad taste in my mouth - a taste of failure. Despite being well prepared.

You are very good with words☺
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  #12  
Old Friday, August 18, 2017
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You are very good with words☺
It's written, originally, by someone else. He's a fellow member on Indian equivalent to this forum.
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Old Saturday, September 02, 2017
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Consulted a physician.

On medication.
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