That strange tongue twisting sound has been reverberating in our neighbourhood for the past several mornings. At first I thought it was "lintuparintuparintupaaaal", utter gobbledygook to my ears, but on repeated, closer hearings, it became clearer.
There was a strange melody to it. Ever since it first registered, I'd be wondering what it was. One morning, determined to solve this annoying mystery, I went into my balcony trying to figure out what on earth the vendor was selling. The voice was heard, close by, but there was no sign of anyone with any worldly goods to dispose of. I went into my parents' balcony, following the sound. The kadamb
tree was blocking my view, but I did see the vendor uttering this strange cry.
He looked up, seeing me as a potential customer, but I looked away, not having the language skills to deal with him and his mysterious product. There was still no sign of what he was actually selling. He'd probably put it down on the ground, out of my line of vision.
I wandered back into the house, trying to tidy up, with the mysterious 'linchuphalinchu' echoing in my brain. "Phal"(fruit) registered- the question was, which particular fruit?
I went out into the balcony to hang up my towel.
And spotted the man on his way out of our lane with a basket of lychees on his head!
Apparently it isn't "linchu", but "lichu" in Bangla!
( I asked a Bengali friend on my walk the next morning).