Katyayani picked the quarrel.
Katyayani’s scolding enraged Vairab. If Vairab didn’t encounter vendor Hiralal then, this event wouldn’t have taken place.
Katyayani had been longing for an expensive saree for a long time.
Jobless Vairab couldn’t satisfy her desire yet for his lack of money. But he wanted to evade her by telling that he despised luxury, and the luxury caused the country to collapse, so—
Though Katyaini was a devoted wife, she was not such a woman that could be fooled by these sweet words. She said, “If one couldn’t afford a wife, what was the point to get married?”
Infuriated, Vairab rubbed a little oil on his head and dashed out. The sun blazed down upon earth. Outside, he spotted the Neem tree. He hadn’t brushed his teeth in the morning. So he broke a branch off the Neem tree and started brushing his teeth with it.
“Need tooth powder- Quality tooth powder-”
Having turned around, Vairab noticed a stranger staring at him, a tiny suitcase in his hand, a polite smile on his face.
Hiralal didn’t intend to arrive at this village but the town. In fact, he was on the way to the town. He slipped into a doze in the train and being over-carried, was brought to this village.
Before the evening, no train to return to his place. So that in the hope of yielding a quick profit, he was wandering around even under the blazing sun.
Vairab amazed, “Where have you come from?”
“Tooth powder, quality tooth powder. It fights bad breath, infection of the gum, swollen gum, prevent oozing out pus, remove pluck and protect teeth from germs. It treats every kind of oral disease- quality tooth powder.”
“Well, But where have you come from? We live in peace in this village. But if you, vendors, intrude on—-”
“Use and see- quality tooth powder.”
Vairab said, chewing the neem toothbrush, “Shit.”
Hiralal said, smiling, “No, Mister. It is quality tooth-powder. Use and see–”
Looking at Hiralal’s flashy teeth, Vairab said, “Your teeth are so healthy. Do you use the tooth powder?”
Hiralal said, smiling politely, “Yes, of course.”
Vairab spat and started brushing his front teeth with the neem toothbrush.
Not to mention, the scene was not charming.
“Would you like to take a bottle of the tooth powder?”
Vairab made a disgusted face, “Get lost, Mister. You are the enemies of the country. You, vendors, destroyed the country by promoting luxurious but harmful products. Got it?”
He continued to brush his teeth nonchalantly.
Hiralal grinned, showing his perfect white teeth, and said, “No, I didn’t grasp your words. Many people have oral diseases.”
Suddenly, Vairab became enraged, “So what? Leave this village. The cheating by selling tooth-powder wouldn’t be granted here.”
Hiralal was not merely a vendor, but also a man of blood and flesh. So he said, “Do you consider yourself the owner of the village?”
Despite the comment appropriate, it hurt Vairab’s ego. Though he was unemployed and illiterate, he was physically strong. He was not the owner of the village, but he could make him depart from it. This kind of frauds made the reckless young frenetic.
“It is difficult to earn a living, and he wants to sell tooth powder!”
He spat and said, “I say, leave the village now.”
“Who the hell are you getting me out of the village?”
Vairab shouted at him like Vim, “Go away, I have encountered many frauds like you in my life.”
Straightway, Vairab charged forward and slapped him hard across the face.
No doubt, Vairab’s behavior was odd. But there happened an incident odder than that. Getting slapped, Hiralal became toothless. His false teeth came out of his mouth- leaving Vairab bewildered.
Noticing Vairab staring at his pitch-black mustaches, Hiralal smirked, “Yes, it is also false. I vend quality hair color too. Would you like to take? What is the point of beating me, Mister? I am a poor man and run my family by only conducting the trade. The only adult son died in my old age.”
When speechless Vairab regained the power of speech, said, “Okay, give me a bottle of the tooth powder.”