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16+ Mature Content

Kulhad (Pot)

by wizartjay


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.

It might rain today. Jagat thinks, looking out of the window to the sunny weather. Then immediately thinks otherwise. Of course, it won’t rain today, just because it rained 5 years ago on his first date with the college crush. Jagat is 26 now, and after a long period of just drifting through his single life, he was having his second first date, today.

‘Shall I wear this white checkered shirt or this plain pink shirt? pink looks good on me mostly, but I wore it yesterday also’

Sniff.

Jagat sniffs the pink shirt.

‘It’s not that stinky, I mean I did wash it the day before, I will be wearing de-odorant, or perfume (that was yet to be decided) over it, plus it’s not like she is going to hug and sniff my underarms on the first date’

He smiles a bit.

‘But the checkered shirt is new, and good things should start with new clothes.’

His mother used to say.

‘But it is so, office-type, I am not going for an interview, she might think I am boring’

He stands in front of his mirror holding two shirts for almost 5 minutes, then realizes his awkward pose and puts them on his bed.

‘What’s that? The other new pink shirt? Absolutely not! I would rather burn that one if I wasn’t planning on returning it.'

He knows he won't be able to return a billed item from the mall. His friend insisted he should at least try since the price he paid and the quality of the shirt he got bothered him so much that day. He was angry about how he so easily got under the impression that the salesman was really thinking for his betterment, also he was called gay by the same friend for buying a pink shirt.

‘She won’t think I am gay just because I wore pink, she sounded easygoing in the call last night, also in the texts she didn’t seem to have so regressive thoughts, in fact, she seemed more modern than myself! She is really cute!’

Bzzzt. His phone alarms buzzed while he was in his mid-blush. 10:15 AM (Snoozed message: DATE!).

At 10:30 he was out of his house (in his older pink shirt).

While he was walking by the street towards the main road, crunching the dry fallen leaves with his feet, when he got a call from his friend.

“What is up bro” He picked. Still walking.

“What is up with you? Have you bought the condoms for today?” His friend, Dushyant asked, laughing demonically.

“Which girl takes you to her bedroom on the first date?” Asked Jagat, knowing what the answer would be.

“Why, didn’t I tell you about my colleague, what a wild girl he met on Hinge and how he turned up in his friend’s Audi and how they spent the evening ruining the backseat of the Audi, slurping..”

“Yes, you have told me, multiple times…“ Interrupted Jagat. “So all girls are this shallow, that is your point?”.

“No… of course not, my point is, if he had the condoms the backseat of the car wouldn't be ruined!” explained Dushyant, again laughing like a pirate.

“Okay alright, you are wasting my time, I am already late” Said Jagat while increasing the pace on the almost empty street, autumn leaves crunching faster under his feet.

“Well if you ask me, If a girl is on a dating app, there is a high chance that she is not getting proposals in real life, which means she is desperate, the fact that she is going on a date within a few weeks of texting means proves that. Many of them are even call-gi…”

“Well thanks for being so considerate and pro-women on this beautiful Sunday morning, but I gotta cross the road” Interrupted Jagat, slightly smiling, his friend giving a vote of agreement with a bit of laughter on the other end.

“Byee”

“See you later bro, maybe I can meet you after the gym? You can tell me…”

Jagat cuts the call while crossing the road to reach the metro station. He ran to catch the elevator when he noticed a small clay pot shop near the metro station gate. The vendors are not allowed to put their stalls too near. He had noticed it a few times before but wasn’t quite sure if he should buy it or not. Today for some reason, he looked at the vendor and the vendor quickly gauged his intent of "maybe" buying the pots so he started selling louder, toward him directly. Jagat felt a compulsion to stop.

"What do you want sir? We have pots, kullhads, lamps, vases. Take this vase it will look good on your balcony" The vendor starts by pointing towards 5 big red vases in the backside of his display of different sizes of pots, which are in the ground. All of them are red/orange.

‘The big ones must be expensive, I should get these small Kulhads’  Jagat thought while crouching down to get a closer look at the kulhads.

“Those are good too!” The vendor exclaimed a little less cheerfully after Jagat had picked one and was weighing it in his hands.

“How much is this one?”

“It's 250 per piece sir, how many should I pack for you?”

“250! for this?” Jagat was genuinely surprised.

“Sir” The vendor made a funny look. “They are quality material sir, you can make top-notch yogurt in this”

“Really? Yogurt?”

“Yes! The water of the yogurt gets filtered out of the little pores in the pot, and all that is left is creamy yogurt” Says the vendor, smiling, proud of himself.

“Ohh, is that so” responds Jagat putting it back in its place.

“Yes, my kid told me the science behind it”

“Anyway, it's too expensive, and I am late” responds Jagat and starts getting back to his pace towards the elevator, ignoring the calls of the vendor saying “Give me 200!”

Jagat waits for the train, which is on time. Slightly pleased with himself that he didn’t buy the pots. A sudden wind of a forgotten memory blows through his mind.

He is sitting in the small two-room house. On the floor in one room there is a mess of paper cutouts and a notebook with some pictures pasted, some pictures still cut out but not pasted, his homework. He is wearing blue half-pants and a dirty T-shirt. His shirt is dirty because he is making clay toys near the house door. Horses, most of them, one disfigured blob that can hardly be passed on as an elephant too.

His mom walks into the house, with haste. 8-year-old Jagat was happy to see his mother back from work early. He watches his mother walking back and forth in their small house, looking into the cupboard, sometimes in the toothbrush holder, sometimes under some cups.

“Jaggu, where is the glue your father bought you last night? quick.”

Jagat did not remember, he WAS using the glue in the morning, using it to paste the pictures of freedom fighters on his homework notebook. But then he started on the clay tows. They seemed more important then.

She speaks in somewhat of a loud tone to him, asking if he lost his glue, and why is the homework not completed. He remembered feeling like crying at that moment.

He also remembered her running away in the same haste with which she came into the house, tapping him gently on his head, making up for the shouting.

Jagat remembered that her mother’s hands were shaking, which made him feel weak. Inside the metro when he was having this thought, the door in front of him opened, and entered in the compartment a girl of moderate height. She is wearing a white top and bellbottom pants, holding a big bag on one of her shoulders, and a little bunch of different kinds of flowers on the other.

Jagat recognizes his friend, Debina, and a smile comes naturally to his face. The same happens to her when she sees him.

“Whose kid did you steal today?” He teases her.

“Stop it Jaggu!” She slaps him on his shoulder. Jagat laughs.

“So, are you fine” He asks, a little seriously. She replies smiling back “Yeah I am great! what about you?”

“I am fine too, where are you going?” Jagat asks.

“I am coming, actually, from the book store”

‘Do whatever, do not mention her breakup okay? She must be still crying to sleep every night.’

“Good, you started reading again! Good for you, you know after the…” Jagat stops. Looking stupidly right into her eyes.

“Yeah, I really wanted to catch up on my hobby you know. So today I thought why not get some more books?” She said, ignoring the elephant in the room he just let out.

“Great!, so what books did you buy?”

“Where are you going?”

Her question overpowers his, so he replies :

“You know, just to meet, some friends,” He says, with a bit of hesitancy, that she reads correctly.

A big smile draws on her face when she asks “It's a date isn’t it?”

“Well.. yeah.. sort of…” he blushes, and she slaps on his shoulder again.

“Aww, look at you” she replies. “Good for you man, I am happy for you, who is the girl? met her on a dating app?”

“Yeah,” he opens his phone and shows her her display picture. “She is Ananya, I met her on Hinge, and we just hit it off.”

“Yeah, she looks nice” She shakes her head at his phone. “So what do you like about her?”

“huh?” Jagat is flustered with the question.

What do I like about her?’

“Well, you are going on a date with her, so I suppose you like her.”

“First you tell me, about the books you bought” He tries to change the subject.

“Ohh.. Well, it's mostly self-help books, and romantic novels, like this one The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.”

“Isn’t that a movie?” He responds while she hands her the book to look at.

“Uhmm… Debby, you know, you shouldn’t be reading these books, especially now, I mean you just had a breakup, that too, of 5 years long ….”

“Ohh stop it!” Debina snatches the book back, slight angst can be seen in her eyes, but she controls herself. “It does not matter, I like reading romantic books, just because I wasted 5 years of my life on some jerk who wasn’t supposed to be with me, it doesn’t mean I can’t read romantic novels?” She says that in one breath.

Jagat knew he shouldn’t have brought it up. Debina gauges the awkwardness, and to clear it off asks him: “Now your turn, what do you like about her?”

“Well yeah, I.. umm... I like that she is cute?” He struggles for things to say, but continues “…and small…”

“Small?” Debina raises her eyebrows, like asking ‘Really?’ before breaking into a burst of laughter.

“Short!!, I meant to say Short!!” He quickly corrects him, but it's too late, she is already laughing very hard at his choice of words.

“You know I find short girls cute?” He responds sincerely to stop her laughter a bit.

“Yeah..” She catches her breath “I know, I know, how you like ‘Small’ girls” She taunts him, and he rolls his eyes, but she continues “Just make sure she also likes ‘Small’ because then you might actually have a chance.” She bursts out with the biggest laughter.

“Ha ha ha, you are so funny” He tries to retort, smiling away the heat in his ears.

Jagat stepped out of the compartment with a flower in his hand. A little tulip bouquet jiggles in his hands as he steps out of the metro staircase, that was forcefully handed to him by Debina before she got off the train.

‘You cannot go empty-handed! She won't like it.’

‘But you bought it’

‘I bought it out of impulse, I guess its destiny is to be delivered to this girl by your hands!’ was her last argument.

At this moment, Jagat was a bit nervous, while checking his hair on his selfie camera he thought.

‘Ananya, what a beautiful name’

The cafe was near the metro station, so he didn’t have to walk too much. There weren’t too many people there, it was a half-roofed and half-open-air cafe. Quickly he noticed the girl, sitting in the open-air area of the cafe, she was wearing mostly white, a white dress/skirt kind of a thing with a denim jacket. Her hairs were tucked back towards the left, tied in a little knot with a butterfly-shaped hair clip. She had put her little handbag on the table and was typing something on her iPhone. Smile on her face.

‘Oh god, she didn’t have to look like a freaking angel!’

Jagat cleaned the sweat off his forehead and went towards her with a made-up smile.

“Hello!”

“Hii!” She greeted broadening her smile. “You are late.”

“Well.. uhh..” Jagat stuttered while sitting in the seat in front of her. “I... had to get you these.”

He gave her the flowers.

“Thank you so much! you didn’t have to!” She responded with the smile he started to like so much.

“How are you? Did you reach too early?”

“No, I was just teasing you, I just reached 5 minutes back”

"You are looking great, nice dress" Complemented Jagat.

They laughed a little and then started talking.

“...and then I had to get it replaced, I am feeling even more glad that you complimented my dress, I literally fought for it!” Ananya ended her story by leaning forward and gesturing her hands as if holding a box.

“Really! That must be a great satisfaction. I mean I bought a shirt a few weeks back too…”

“Nice shirt by the way…”

“Oh, it’s not... Thanks… it's not this one tho...”

“I know, sorry, continue…”

“Yeah, it's fine, so I was just saying that I just had a similar experience, I don’t know how, I was too tired I guess, and the salesman was so insisting, I just bought the shirt, and it's so bad! I also have to return it as soon as possible, I mean at least try”

“These people are always like that, they will talk to you like they are your friends, and it is all just a show, they may as well give you stuff from garbage if they could”

“Well I don’t know about everyone, this one was a real piece of shit”

“I also don’t generalize of course, but this is just something I have noticed since childhood, most of the maids or servants we had turned out to be parasites you know, just lazy and slow, taking leaves every now and then…”

“Ohh.. is that so” Responded Jagat.

“I bet a lot of them also, you know…”

“You know my mother also used to work as a maid when I was a child.” Jagat cut in before noticing her sentence. Not exactly sure why he revealed that information at that point.

There was a weird silence after that, for a minute, before Jagat and Ananya instinctively started reading their menus, and then Ananya called the waiter.

“One Caesar Salad for me, and… what will you have?” She asked facing a still thinking Jagat.

“One minute” ‘everything seems so unnecessarily expensive’

“We will split the bill” She smiled at him.

“Ohh, nah, I was thinking something else”

‘what does THAT mean?’ he thought. “I will have what she is having,” he told the waiter before the waiter nodded his head and went towards the kitchen.

They mostly talked about the work after that, She told him how it's hectic these days, and he told her how it's been hectic for him for years. She was smiling less and nodding more when he was talking, he was also nodding a lot he noticed.

‘This salad is so horrible’ he thought, when he saw her typing again on her phone.

He ate his salad in the silence with little tap sounds of her long-nailed thumbs typing on her phone.

“The salad is really good” he broke her concentration. At this point, he didn’t care what she did.

“Sorry, it's work-related, I told you right?” she responded after typing a few seconds more. After that she put her phone on one side and put her head on fingers crisscrossing under her chin, her elbows on the table.

“You really like the salad?” She said smiling.

“Yeah, I mean I won’t order it every day but, I guess it's healthy” responded Jagat, really considering his words.

“Yeah it's really good for your health.” She said smiling. He smiled back.

“Yeah, but bad luck is that I got to go.”

“You haven’t eaten your salad though.”

“Yeah, I will get it packed, really sorry, it's just that I made some commitments for tomorrow, and I have to complete my work by evening, and it is a LOT. Plus I have to meet my friend also, I don’t like her but it’s her birthday, if I don’t go to hers she won’t come to mine, so.”

“Tell her happy birthday from me! it's totally fine, we had a great time.”

“Thanks, I also think we had a great time” she responded. He had completed his salad, so they got her salad packed and walked outside the cafe. He handed her the salad.

“There is my driver,” she said pointing a little right of the cafe. 

“Ohh, so see you again I guess,” he said, in a casual tone, smiling friendly.

And then she gave him a warm and gentle hug.

“You are a nice person, you know, thanks for taking the time to meet me, that means a lot,” she said, losing the hug and looking at him closely.

“Umm Thanks… I guess.” He responded, dumbfounded. “You are nice too.”

“Thanks, I got to go” she responded as she moved back a little. “See you again, nice de-odorant!” were her words while turning towards her car.

He watched her step inside the car, her driver also stepped inside, and then he waved at her car turning ahead. She waved back.

On the way home, Jagat didn’t realize how fast time went. He almost missed his station pondering about his day. He knew she was not gonna have another date with him. How was he so sure, he didn’t know.

‘’You are a nice person’ what does she mean by that? She might be phony, but the hug felt so pure and genuine.’

'I hope Debby is happier, I mean she looked okay, but these girls are so good with hiding their real emotions, you can never say.'

“Heyy, Jagger broo!” Dushyant finds Jagat stepping down from the metro.

“Heyy bro, what a coincidence, you look like you are coming from the gym” Jagat responded.

“Yeah, I told you in the morning.”

“Yeah you did, Sorry, it slipped my memory”

“It's fine man… you seem a little… you know…under stress, how was your date?”

“Ahh, it didn’t turn out well”

“I can see that, why? No beauty?”

“No no, she was gorgeous. We just didn’t hit it off I guess, in person.”

“Ohh.”

“You believe in destiny?”

“What. Do you think this date has got to do something with destiny?”

“Naah man! I met one friend this morning, you probably have seen her on my Insta.”

Dushyant looked very intently at Jagat.

“Anyway, she just broke up with her boyfriend a few weeks back, it was a 5-year-old relationship! And she tells me that she is okay, she might have wasted 5 years of her life, but maybe that is her destiny. Also, she was buying those romantic novels to read which I think she shouldn’t at all this time.”

Dushyant still looking at him with a face saying ‘So what?’.

“My point is, if she had chosen someone with a little bit more commitment, she might have not wasted this much time! so what is this fuss about destiny?” Now Jagat was looking at Dushyant, for an answer.

“First off” Dushyant started “I don’t think she “wasted” her 5 years. No time is actually wasted in your life, unless you are in jail or something for a crime you didn’t even commit. Human tendency is to learn, no matter what, it's in our genetic code. And second, I think she is a pretty strong woman if she is handling this breakup so well. I mean, I don’t believe in this destiny-luck bullshit, but each human creates their own defense mechanisms to the calamities they face in their life, so good for her man, if she is still standing and living her life, reading books! you should be happy for her, not question her state!”

Jagat was stunned by this thought-provoking answer by his friend.

“Woah, where did you learn all this man.”

“Just observed the world around me.”

“That’s a good answer man.”

“Really? You think I can go for a TedxTalk?”

“Let’s not stretch it to that level.” They both laughed.

“Come to my home, we will order some food” Jagat invited his friend.

“I will come, but I do not want to eat food from outside, all packaged food is mostly bad for the body, in fact, I am going to make things on my own.”

“Like what?”

“You know… like yogurt?”

“Yogurt?” exclaimed Jagat, thinking something, then started looking around and spotted the little clay pot shop.

“You want to make homemade yogurt right? Come here” He said pointing to the shop. “We can get some kullhads here”

When they went to the shop, a little kid was sitting in a chair, studying under a little lamp.

“Hey kid, where is your father?”

“He went home, to make our food.” The little kid said, a bit confused. “You want to buy?” Said the kid, with a little enthusiasm.

“My friend would,” Jagat said, pointing at his friend, Dushyant smiled and waved at the kid.

“Well, you can buy the small ones, the medium ones, the big ones, you would have to pick the big ones up yourselves though, I can’t pick it up yet, as I am small.” Said the kid in one breath.

“Woah woah, catch some air, we want these kulhads to make yogurt only.”

“Well good choice, they are good yogurt makers, you know there are tiny pores in the surface of the pot, that help the water from yogurt to very slowly leak out in very small droplets, you can't see them, that leaves the very creamy and very cold yogurt, my teacher says its called eevaporation.” Said the kid, again in one breath, smiling wide and happy with himself.

They both look at each other. “Well, I did not know that!” Said Dushyant looking at Jagat. “I will buy one.” 

The kid immediately stepped down from the chair and ran in the front where the kulhad’s were kept, in front of their feet, he picked one kulhad and handed it to them, reaching as far up as he could.

“Why don’t you buy one too?” The kid says to Jagat.

Jagat gives it a little thought, then decides.

“Fine, I will take one!”

“Heyy, we are the yogurt bros!” Dushyant exclaimed.

“They cost… uh…”

“They cost 250 a piece” Jagat reminds the kid, with confidence in his voice.

The kid confirms with a smile. 

“Here is your 500, now go back to study!”

With that, the yogurt bros walk back towards the street, talking more about nothing.

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Thu Apr 18, 2024 6:49 am
KaavyaK wrote a review...



Wow, this is a wonderful daily life experience written by the author.

In the starting of the story the author's inner thoughts about wearing the pink shirt or the white shirt made story more interesting.

"Jagat did not remember, he WAS using the glue in the morning, using it to paste the pictures of freedom fighters on his homework notebook. But then he started on the clay tows. They seemed more important then.
She speaks in somewhat of a loud tone to him, asking if he lost his glue, and why is the homework not completed. He remembered feeling like crying at that moment."
This part is totally relatable, my mom also used tell me to complete my homework on time. This part where the author takes the readers back to his childhood memories is awesome, it also made me remember regarding what things my mother used to scold me.

I also liked the plot of highlighting the Kulhad (pot) in the starting of the story and also in the end of the story.

Keep it up.
Waiting for more.
Dhanyawad.




wizartjay says...


Thanks for the review Kavya :)
I like your interpretations!




“Rise like Lions after slumber In unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you— Ye are many—they are few.”
— Mary Shelly