There is a jinxed little shop near my house. It stands next to another shop that is used by some Christian prayer group for some activities which require a lot of jumping up and down and flailing arms shouting “Alleluia!! Alleluia!!” long Bible thumping sessions, and of course free food. The free food is served last due to tendency of people to vanish after the food.
These two rooms stand on a stretch of round bounded by a vineyard on one side and a private farm on the other side. It is the closest shop to our colony that is at the edge of a reserve forest. But instead of rolling in the big bucks the shop is jinxed with failure after failure.
The first occupants of this shop named it Extreme Freeze. Extreme Freeze had a freezer… and nothing else. It was started by a clueless Tamilian Christian couple from the Gulf who had retired and wanted to start a small business of their own with their savings. On retrospect it was wise to start small, for they never grew beyond small. In fact they grew smaller and smaller till one day they disappeared after downing the shutters. The trouble was with the freezer says the rumor mongers. It had nothing. Yes you heard me right. It had nothing. The clueless couple hoped to fill it someday but found that paying the rent and electricity bills ate up all their monies leaving them nothing to buy for the shop. After paying bills for six months they decided to close up. All that was found in the shop was evangelist literature predicting the end of the world while exhorting readers to convert err… save their souls by praying to the ‘living god’.
The next occupant was a slightly retarded brother in law of a big time Mangalorean trader in our area. He named the shop Pai and Co Industries. The shop opened with much fan fare and plywood shelves and after the initial stocking of Britannia biscuits it sort of fizzled out as the retarded brother in law was too retarded to buy new stock. He sat in the shop drooling over evangelist literature predicting the end of the world and exhorting readers to convert err… save their souls by praying to the ‘living god’ till the last biscuit packet was bought and was thrown out by the Mangalorean trader. The rumors of the jinx continued.
After Pai and Co. Industries we had Moonwalk Café. Moonwalk Café was the brainchild of a large hairy man with long curly tresses dressed in a black leather coat, black tee shirt, jeans and knee length leather boots. He looked like a black cowboy who had lost his marbles. He was actually the useless scion of a rich family who spent his share of the family wealth in the café. He had dreams of becoming an entrepreneur like his brothers and thought that Moonwalk café was the way to the mega bucks.
Now Moonwalk café was neither a café nor a Michael Jackson memorial as people first thought. It had a refrigerator and a tray of sandwiches, a cool beach umbrella on the porch under which some plastic chairs were scattered for people to lounge about. The chairs would be regularly strewn with evangelist literature predicting the end of the world exhorting readers to convert err… save their souls by praying to the ‘living god’. The place attracted his cronies by the dozen and when the sandwiches and sodas ran out, he sold the café and sneaked out of the neighborhood in the dead of the night in striped pajamas and a torn vest to avoid the creditors.
The rumors of the jinx grew stronger and stronger and no one in the neighborhood was willing to take up the shop.
After some time another bakra walked into the landlord’s parlor. This man’s luck in getting bakras was noteworthy. They just walked into his parlor and sneaked out when the business flopped. Landlord kept the rent advance and grew richer by the minute.
The last person to take up the shop was the local butcher. He set up shop one day just like that and started doing roaring business because – you won’t believe this - he knew how to run a business. People were waiting for the jinx to strike but nothing happened, for a year. Last week he shut shop and people looked ominously at each other and gathered in excited gaggles to discuss the jinx … till he opened up again, with a larger shop, after a hostile takeover of the alleluia joint from the evangelists. The poor suckers didn’t know what was coming.
All is peaceful on this stretch of road, except for the infrequent flash mobs that land up in front of the butcher shop predicting the end of the world exhorting customers to convert err… save their souls by praying to the ‘living god’ before scampering away like hysterical mice.
The landlord on the other hand is wondering why his once profitable shop has become jinxed, but has refused the services of umm certain people who volunteered to pray for his shop if he converted and saved his soul by praying to the ‘living god’.