Ajeet came back home and arranged everything, freshen up and then came in the room where, his mother was lying already. The time was 12.30am. Paramjeet had not arrived back home yet. When tried calling him, it seemed his phone was switched off. Mother asked Ajeet, who was about to turn the lamp off. “How much money Paramjeet might be having at the bank?? ….” Ajeet responded, “Paramjeet said somewhere around 4-5 lacs.” And today somewhere around 25000 would get added to it, from my earnings and I think ‘Parma’ would also have same collection for today!!!” Ajeet continued with a joy on his face, “Just by passing one single law, today there was like havoc everywhere. A sudden surprise from government has simply made things and whole game turned across.”
Now joy turned into laugh and Ajeet said, “Just imagine mom, people are literally giving away 500/- for bill of hundreds and literally asking to keep rest 400 as tip.” And laughed louder. “Whatever might be the case with others mom, but we are just collecting everything whatever we would earn today, rounding it off and leaving for home for never coming back here, what you say???” This sudden suggestion by Ajeet shocked his mother whom they all used to call bebbo with love. Her reply was “are you in your senses dear?? What are you saying??Leaving this city??” before she could say anything more, there was a knock on the door. Paramjeet had arrived.
He had the similar kind of happiness like Ajeet had on his face, when arrived. “What a miracle bebbo, one single decision by government has literally shaken the minds of people. They are literally giving away currencies of 1000/- for the bill of 100. Selling out Chole Samosas was like selling gold today, and that too with everyone was eager to buy the gold for higher price.” Everyone laughs together. He asks Ajeet about his experiences, “So Ajeet how were your Kulchas, any different from me??” Ajeet spreaded all butterflies that were in his stomach, about the experience he had today. He agreed upon the opinion that he too had a great business today. And he put the point of returning back home in Amritsar and deposit all cash and live the life in peace. Paramjeet even had a similar idea in his mind of now shifting back to Amritsar after selling ‘Chole Samosas’ and ‘Amritsari Kulchas’ for long 30 years in Mumbai.
Bebbo was little bit shocked to see both of them having same opinions even though they have business at different and distant locations. Her expressions changed from laugh to bit serious face when even Paramjeet started saying about leaving the city. Not only opinions but the incidents that both of them telling about today, were even matching. Such as, Mr. Mishra had come to Ajeet’s Kulcha shop and shared his plans with Ajeet about how he is going to dump the old currencies of 500 and 1000 that are about to be demonetized from the economy. Similar to that, Mr. Sharma was giving away currency of 500 & 1000 to beggars and poors. He even distributed Kulchas to them, and gave away 1500 against the bill of 1000 and asked to keep the change.
First ever in her lifetime, Verma aunty suddenly planned a kitty party and ordered huge lot of Chole Kulchas, and she paid the money first ever on behalf of others. According to Paramjeet, as soon as the prime minister declared about demonetized currencies, those who used to discuss about making money, they all were at his and such other food counters to spend as much money they can. The payments that never arrived, and even Ajeet had stopped following was returned with added interest to it. These all amounts were being paid in the currencies of 500 or 1000 Rupees.
By hearing all these stories, bebbo was totally shocked. After all, she started all this business empire which his sons were taking further. The empire was smaller though, but was settled enough. Suddenly she remembered about Amritsar, and she said. “How come, suddenly you both have decided to go back home to Amritsar? What have made you think about taking up such a decision? What are you going to do with this huge amount of money??, I am happy that we together in fact, both of you have bought the business to this level, but now why suddenly leaving this in between and going back home???” Paramjeet spoke up, like any other elder son of the family, “What else are we going to do, will take you back home in an Airplane, we’ll pay off whatever taxes we are supposed to pay on our incomes, and would leave for our origin in Peshawar. (Now in Pakistan)We’ll build our own palace there, the lost land we would own again and would sell Kulchas, Samosas in Peshawar Royally. Let Pakistan lick the fingers now. Would feed their souls with the food they have ever tasted. That’s the whole plan.”
Bebbo was okay with the whole plan but she felt proud of one single aspect which Paramjeet discussed and that was, though her sons were rich enough today, they were talking about paying off taxes and not stealing them away. They were still thinking of serving souls with food, the seed that was sowed by bebbo had grown greater, and that too with values. They all were born in Peshawar, Pakistan. But after partition, they all came to Amritsar in India. Her husband died of an accident just after younger son Ajeet’s birth. Bebbo grew Ajeet and Paramjeet in Amritsar, by feeding Kulchas, Samosas, Chole and Lassi. Situation taught both of them a lot after they left school in 6th std itself.
Bebbo bought them to the city of Mumbai. Just after keeping the first feet at Mumbai Central railway station, Paramjeet asked Bebbo “What will we do over here? How would we feed ourselves in such a big city?” Bebbo asked them, “What best can you do??” Both of them answered, “Kulchas”. “That’s it!!” “Kulchas would feed us here!!”For last 30 years Bebbo and her sons served Kulchas to Mumbai. It even extended to Samosas, lassi etc. But it started and consisted with Kulchas. In fact when Bebbo realized that Mumbai loves her Kulchas, she specially ordered the Tandoor (Indian Furnace for preparing breads.) from Amritsar. In last 30 years, she replaced the Tandoor 7-8 times to keep the freshness of the flames that were burning to serve Kulchas. Her said values were Honesty and authenticity. These values she could see that were perfectly imbibed into her sons.
Demonetization showed nature of people when they become rich and wealthy, but she was happy to see that her sons were still the same and loyal to their soil. That’s why they first thought repaying the credit to the soil that gave them a lot in their life and then thought of doing the same at their soil where they were born. Carrying this feeling of satisfaction on her face, bebbo came out of the State bank of India’s Amritsar branch with a slip of deposit stamped. She saw a board just next to the bank saying, Famous Amritsari Kulchewala…Authentic Amritsari Kulchas!!! She smiled in herself by reading that board.