"Babu!" As I stepped down from the car, I was startled on being accosted my childhood name. The thought of meeting with an old acquaintance vexed me. Ignoring the call, I drove past the parking lot.
"O, you Babu!" Some one called loudly this time. I couldn't help looking back. He was approaching me with long strides. Because of the prominent black mole below his right eye, it did not take me long to recognize Sita Ram, my friend of the boyhood days. His brisk approach showed that he would hug me warmly on coming close. I feared, in the danger of going down in the esteem of the people in the crowded South-Ex....The fool doesn't know I am not the same old beggarly 'Babu' now. I am now B.k the owner of a number of factories. I deliberately thrust my hands in my pockets.
Observing my cold attitude, he had winced a little on coming close to me. Raising my eyes with a good deal of effort, I noticed his hand extended towards me.
"How are you, Sita Ram?" Overlooking his extended hand, I patronisingly inquired as if he was one of my factory workers.
"O, you are in Delhi and I have no knowledge of it," said he with unsuppressed fervour despite my cold behaviour...
"I am in a bit of hurry just now," I said. Trying to remain formal with him made me perspire from head to foot. I looked anxiouly all around me. Thank God, nobody was observing us. To get rid of him, I said, "Come to my office sometime. We shall then talk at leisure."
"We have met after so many years. I won't let you go so easily," he said. "Come, I will take you to my show-rooms.....Fabrica…….Fashion Inn.......these belong to yours truly, i.e. me."
I was dumbfounded. This chap.....Sita Ram!......the sole owner of two magnificent show-rooms in the posh South Extension! It means something great.
"O, you fatty, you have become a very big man," I said joyfully and patted his paunch playfully. The next moment, with arms around each other's waist, we were on our way to the Fabrica.