Translated by Mehedi Hassan
Primarily, Katyayani was responsible for the quarrel.
Katyayani rebuked Vairab, and it made him angry, and he started roaring in mind. If canvasser Hiralal didn’t meet up with Vairab at the moment, this incident wouldn’t have happened.
Katyayani had been longing for an expensive saree for a long time.
Unemployed Vairab hadn’t satisfied her longing yet due to his deficiency of money. But He had been avoiding her by telling that he didn’t like luxury and the country was getting lost because of this kind of worthless luxury of the people.
Though Katyaini was devoted to her husband, she was not such a woman that could be fooled by these trifle words. She said, “If you couldn’t afford a wife, why have you got married?”
It was too much for him!
Annoyed Vairab put on a little coconut oil on the crown of his head, and got out of the house hurriedly. The sun of the midday was too hot. On the outside, he spotted the neem tree. He hadn’t brushed his teeth in the morning. Vairab broke a branch off the neem tree and made a toothbrush out of it, and started brushing his teeth.
“Do you want to buy toothpowder? I sell quality toothpowder.”
Having turned around, Vairab noticed an unknown person looking at him with a small suitcase in his hand.
He was smiling.
Hiralal hadn’t been supposed to come to this village. He intended to go to the town and was on the way, but he fell into a deep sleep on the train, and it brought him to this village.
There was no return train to go back to his destination before evening so that in the hope of making some profit, he was wandering around even under the hot sun.
Perplexed Vairab said, “Where have you come from?”
“I sell tooth powder. It is quality toothpowder. It can treat bad breath, infection of the gum, swollen gum, spewing pus and remove pluck and protect teeth from germs. In using this toothpowder, oral-diseases of any kind will treat. It is a good one.”
“Well, I understand. But where have you come from? We live in peace in this village, but if you canvassers start to come—-”
“Use and see. It is quality toothpowder.”
Vairab said while chewing the neem toothbrush, “Nothing.”
Hiralal said, laughing, “You are wrong here, Mister. It is quality toothpowder. Use and see–”
Looking at Hiralal’s clean and white teeth, Vairab said, “Your teeth are so healthy. Do you use the toothpowder?”
Hiralal said, laughing broadly, “Yes, of course.”
Vairab spat and started again to brush his front teeth with the neem toothbrush.
Not to mention that the scenario was not eye-catching.
“Would you like to buy a bottle of the toothpowder?”
Vairab said with his face distorted, “Get lost, Mister. You are the enemies of our country. People like you got the country plunging into an abyss by selling luxurious but harmful things. Got it?”
He started to brush his teeth indifferently.
He laughed again broadly, showing his teeth, and it seemed that he did it intentionally. He said, “No, I don’t get you. You know, a lot of people in our country have oral diseases.”
He suddenly became infuriated and said, “So what? Please, get out of this village. “The deception with selling the toothpowder will not be granted here.”
Although Hiralal was a canvasser, he was a man of blood and flesh. Therefore, he said, “Do you consider yourself as the owner of the village?”
In spite of the comment being appropriate, it hurt his ego. It was true that Vairab was unemployed, and he was not an educated person. But it was also true that he has some strength in his body. Although he was not the owner of the village, he could get him out of it. He thought in mind that this kind of dishonest men had made the reckless young crazy.
“When it is hard to earn a meal, the luxury of using toothpowder is absurd!”
He spat forcefully and said, “I say get out of the village now.”
“Who the hell are you getting me out of the village?”
Vairab cried out like Vim, “Get out, I have seen a lot of men like you in my life.”
Just after that, Vairab advanced hastily towards him and slapped him hard across the face.
It was no doubt that Vairab’s behavior was odd.
But there happened one more odd thing. Getting slapped, Hiralal became teeth less.
His false teeth came out of his mouth.
Noticing that Bewildered Vairab staring at his pitch-black mustaches, Hiralal smiled and said,
“Yes, it is also false. I sell quality hair color too. Would you like to buy? What is the point of beating me, Mister? I am a poor man and run my family with many troubles by conducting this business. The only adult son died in my old age—
When Bemused and mute Vairab got the ability to talk, said, “Okay, I want to buy; give me a bottle of the toothpowder.”