30

The Great Indian Chutney Shower

I am a hard core south Indian. I take breakfast seriously. I mean, damn seriously. Haven’t you seen me relishing on dosa-sambar-pongal-upma-idly-vada-chutney-puttu-kadala?

Now, this post is about one of my infamous breakfast encounters. 

As usual, I was on my way to office one day, scrutinizing my fellow passengers in the bus - the same corporate folks who discuss the same Java and Oracle and relocation and America and cars and traffic and managers! So unexciting …to see the same monotonous faces daily! To make my time productive, I decided to make a to-do list for the day at work. But no… I couldn’t think of anything beyond my cube and my teammates. What was the distraction? The interrupting thought of the aroma of filter coffee in the cafeteria! “Forget work. First things first; so, let me elaborately plan today’s breakfast”, I decided. Thinking of the hot fluffy poori and the masala, I smiled to myself …wide!

As soon as I reached office, I marched to the cafeteria high spiritedly! There I met my friends, who also believe that the best way to start off a day is by making the tummy happy. As I was picking up my food from the counter ‘hello’-ing and ‘hi’-ing with colleagues standing in the queue, by mistake I dropped my tumbler splashing coriander chutney all over the floor! Oh Shit! I ‘sorry’-ied to the boy serving the food a thousand times and he kindly replaced my dish. 

Forgetfulness is bliss at times! Totally forgetting the commotion I created a few minutes ago, I thoroughly savored the food with my friends over jokes and gossips and pulling legs! 

It is now time for some serious stuff – work! I got into the elevator while two others whom I do not know joined. One of them was stinking and I felt embarrassed to close my nose in front of him. 

Me (in my mind): Why the hell can't people take a shower in the morning before coming to work? 
Stinking Guy: What a bad start…
Other Guy:  What happened? And why are you drenched?
Stinking Guy:  Early in the morning, somebody gave me a bath in chutney. It also got into my eyes that I couldn’t even see which moron did that. Bloody annoying, useless fellow! 

Shock, guilt, shame and nervousness sneaked in through my nerves and bones!

Me: Excuse me! 
Stinking Guy: Yes… (the other guy also turned at me)
Me: The bloody annoying useless person whom you just referred is me.
Both their eyes popping out: Excuse me, what?  
Me: I am so sorry; I didn’t know that I dropped it on somebody. I mean...I was the one who gave you the mint bath and I swear it was accidental.
Stinking Guy: Oh sorry! I didn’t mean it, you know! Huh, hmm…I was just talking in general…hope you understand - chutney on my shirt, eyes, everywhere…
Me: I am really really sorry! 

The elevator opened, it was their stop. Both of them gave me a smile and got out. I was still ‘sorry’ing!  

Heartfelt apology is a funny thing! Don’t you feel so?
22

Wish


If you think this picture was shot at Thrissur Pooram*, you are mistaken …big time!
Or, if you think somebody is giving away something for free here, even then you are wrong!


Well, it is just another silly hypermarket in Bangalore, close to my house! When I get bored, I keep committing the same mistake! What? I add to the chaos. How? I go there and shop! Why? To collect the most unimportant things. Then? I crib and cry looking sadly at my empty wallet!

Now, is there a solution to my problem? Yes… but only if one fine day God surprises Bangaloreans with a beach! Instead of Forum Mall, a beach! Wow...!! Lovely, isn’t?! And I wish if it also has lots of kappalandi-walas**!

* Thrissur Pooram
** Peanut-sellers
12

The Curious Case of a Missing ‘What’!

The once eventful house; it stands by a gently flowing stream, amongst hundreds of lush coconut and arecanut trees in a quiet countryside in Kerala. It is huge – splendid and palatial. Built by my forefathers, the house is a testimony to yesterday's craftsmanship and tomorrow's ideas. It also promises a breadth of fresh air, bright and smiling sun, clear sky, and inviting greenery – indeed a marvelous place to spend time with oneself! Go back in time; the house had in it fathers and mothers and uncles and aunts and sons and daughters and brothers and sisters and cousins and servants and even cows and goats - all under one same roof!

Though I have not spent many days with relatives in this house; here I experience a strong feeling of belonging. I believe that wherever life takes me to, some day I will have to return to my roots which is here. I have also felt close to people whom I have not seen even once in my life - my great grand fathers and mothers! They were the brave warriors who led many battles and returned to kingdom successfully! Powerful, rich and respected…! What more could they have asked for?

Information courtesy: my super-creative mom, who through her bedtime stories made our ancestors my ultimate heroes. Now in the heaven, I wonder what they will be feeling for their grand children – the corporate slaves living on bank loans in comparatively congested apartments, breathing polluted air!

However, this story is not about us - the disgraceful and snobbish bunch. This is perhaps a century old story - of my dominant forerunners, the background being the house described above.

Once upon a time, there lived a strong, yet a very kind person. He was the king’s most favored and trusted person, the civilians’ defender and the family’s guardian! He was loved and highly respected. But one fine day, to everybody’s shock, he went missing. And, nobody could answer why and where! The only evidence left was a lost brass vessel (mutka) from the veranda of the house. The chapter of the missing person was soon closed concluding that he has left the house and the territory with the mutka. In an era deprived of technology to trace a missing person, I doubt if anybody has even attempted to investigate further.

Anyways, the story does not end there. Generations after him believe that our man has gone to Kasi for pilgrimage. How did they arrive at the decision? Obviously, because he carried the mutka along. Logical finish, huh?!

Here is my take – Did anybody notice a long wooden stick too missing from the house? May be a cloth bag too?! A mutka, walking stick and a cloth bag – these are the ‘must’ accessories for Kasi visit!

 Wishing all of you a very happy and a fabulous Diwali.
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