Nissim Ezekiel

(16 December 1924 - 9 January 2004 / Mumbai / India)

Soap


Some people are not having manners,
this I am always observing,
For example other day I find
I am needing soap
For ordinary washing myself purposes.
So I'm going to one small shop
nearby in my lane and I'm asking
for well-known brand soap.

That shopman he's giving me soap
but I'm finding it defective version.
So I'm saying very politely — -
though in Hindi I'm saying it,
and my Hindi is not so good as my English,
Please to excuse me
but this is defective version of well-known brand soap.

That shopman is saying
and very rudely he is saying it,
What is wrong with soap?
Still I am keeping my temper
and repeating very smilingly
Please to note this defect in soap,
and still he is denying the truth.

So I'm getting very angry that time
and with loud voice I am saying
YOU ARE BLIND OR WHAT?
Now he is shouting
YOU ARE CALLING ME BLIND OR WHAT?
Come outside and I will show you
Then I am shouting
What you will show me
Which I haven't got already?
It is vulgar thing to say
but I am saying it.

Now small crowd is collecting
and shopman is much bigger than me,
and I am not caring so much
for small defect in well-known brand soap.
So I'm saying
Alright OK Alright OK
this time I will take
but not next time.

Submitted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Edited: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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