Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Coffeeless Coffee or No Coffee

I'm a big fat coffee lover. Since when I was like dropping the glass given to me (one because of the hot coffee, two I'd be in half-sleep and three my hands were too small to hold the glass), mornings without coffee would lead to a day without enthusiasm. Now, psychologists don't think too much, I'm talking about drinking coffee. :)

However, in the recent past, I've learnt to live without it. When I moved to Chennai, I did not have gas connection at my place for sometime because of regulator-leak problem. Though it was difficult, I started to have coffee first thing in the morning, at office. After a week, I couldn't bear the vending machine coffee and I promised myself not to touch that coffee ever again in my life.

Two weeks back, I set the gas connection right. And my dad was here for the past 15 days, which meant Coffee daily morning. The routine started to fall in place.

I should have mentioned this earlier, but this is not too late (Oh God, I've been using this statement a lot recently). When I tell you coffee, it is agmark, home-made, without chicory, 100% fresh, iyer aathu filter coffee: the "Besh Besh.. Romba Nanna Irukku" type and you can picturise me as the guy who says it in the ad. :)

There is a baker/confectioner shop nearby the place I make and drink coffee (my house). The guy would grind the beans as and when we ask for coffee powder. And I made the decision to buy little quantity daily, instead of getting in bulk amount. The reason was that I could drink fresh coffee everyday.

Last night I had to drop-off my dad at ABT travels as he was leaving to Coimbatore. He had not bought milk on purpose. He always believes I'd forget to turn off the gas cylinder after using it, which I do at times (can't blame him). He told me, "Why don't you drink at office, instead of buying half litre milk just for the sake of one person?". I argued telling, "I'd not waste it. I'll make curd out of it". On my way back home, I bought milk; put it in the refridgerator as soon as I came home.

Morning came. My cousin (and room-mate, who doesn't drink coffee) had let the servant in. When I woke up, she was working. So, I dozed off again. "Close the door" (ya.. in tamil) were the words that woke me up. She was leaving. I closed the door and crashed back on the bed. Suddenly, it struck me. "COFFEEEEEEEEE".

I jumped out of bed, went straight to the kitchen and emptied the contents of milk into the milk-cooker. It was boiling as I brushed my teeth, came back and filled water in all the empty bottles. When the cooker screeched to the limit where my tympanum actually came out and knocked me on the head, I turned off the stove and then the gas, immediately.

I took out two glasses, placed them near the stove. Now, I was thinking, there is something else more than milk and glasses for coffee. "COFFEE DECOCTION".

Hell to my idea of "daily fresh coffee", I had completely forgotten about the daily-buy-coffee-powder. I checked the fridge. No coffee powder. And I hate to drink milk (hate the smell). :(

So, here I'm sitting and telling this to all of you. The milk cooker is still cooling down, where it was heated in first place, the glasses are left intact where I had placed them, only thing: No coffee for me today! And I bet you, I'll not remember to buy coffee powder this evening either.

Even tomorrow, I should either have no coffee or coffeeless coffee (MILK).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Good Old Cricketing days

I'd be unnecessary to mention that I played cricket in school because I'm damn sure that every Indian school-boy would have done that. Even if not to a great extent, they would have at least held a bat in their hand or thrown the ball towards a totally lost person standing in front of three sticks or at the least would have run behind the ball as a fielder.

After a long time I'm having regular (weekendly) access to playing cricket. Ok, now those who know me and have seen me playing cricket, ya, it is most of the time running behind the ball "trying" to catch it (they would call me fielder then). Holding the bat and "only swinging" the bat in every direction (as if trying to drive away mosquitoes; they would call me batsman then) .

Little improvement from those days: I atleast save the ball, though not catch it; at times the ball hits the bat and goes for a 4 (at least). I'm still bowling, as miserable as always.

I still remember the first "official" match I played in school (sixth standard). I was the captain of the team (actually I just grabbed the oppurtunity when someone asked who wants to be captain). First ball, C.D.Ashwanth, a guy from Red House was the bowler and as I was the captain, I'm the opener. With heavy force I hit the ball so high that everyone my team (Green House) shouted. However, the ball landed straight into Ashwanth's hands without even crossing the pitch :( . My classmates Kowshik (who works for Yahoo now), Karthikeyan, Ashwanth etc used to laugh over that one-ball incident till they finally forgot it one day (well, who cares).

That one-ball fiasco, as I call it, put an end to my cricketing career (at least within school). I always used to play cricket at home. Four enthusiastic cricketers, who were the dare devils of the neighbourhood (I mean our homes). Srinath (my cousin), Chiju (ya.. me), Varun and Sushil. Varun, almost 2 years younger to me, used to come to his Granpa's house which was opposite to our house and Sushil, 2 years younger to Varun, from the house next to his grandpa's house.

We used to play cricket in many forms depending on various factors:
1. Rain/Sun.
2. Presence of Srinath's dad's car and my dad's car in my place (Our families stayed upstairs and downstairs then).
3. Presence of Varun's grandpa's cars (plural, which means we have a big pitch like stretch there).
4. Digging of road (which rarely happened).
5. Abilty to go to our school ground.
6. Availability of all the four of us.
7. Availability of the backyard of my house (we call it "Kollai", in Tamil - not the theft Kollai).

And according to the above factors, we played various forms of cricket. I'll take you through all of them one-by-one.

1. Singles - The all famous, no need to explain form. Lesser the number, better the fun.
2. Team-Team - This is a good one. We pick two international teams (ofcourse, one is India) and we take turns batting for each and every player in both the teams. This means, all of us are on the same side. Only thing that mattered was who'd play for Sachin!
3. Under-arms - Either if rain turned against us or if only Kollai cricket is possible, only underarms bowling was allowed. During rain, we used to play in the compound of my where we had ample protection from the rain. Car factors apply.
4. Road Cricket - Alagesan Road (though not as broad as it is now) has been a great pitch for us. Overarm throwing only allowed. Depending upon number of players, off-side/leg-side/both sides scoring was decided.
5. Bowling - If school ground was an option or if Varun's grandpa's cars were all out, we used to play this. I was a big loser when it came to playing Srinath's Fast Bowling. How I used to cheat, only I know (not even them most of the times). Sorry guys! :)
6. Stanes vs Lisieux - This is my favourite pick. There were lots of guys from Stanes school around my neighbourhood. And we were from Lisieux. If time and number of players coincided, we used to play this. And this was the best cricket we've played.

We've had so many fights, reasons being teaming up against one guy or cheating or other silly things and not talked for a long time and all. But, that was the best phase of my life. Lakshmi aunty (our neighbout), her dogs (Pinky and Snoopy), who used to shout at us all the time. How many balls have we lost! How many bats we've broken!

Most of all how much fun have we had. Thankyou daredevils (we never called us that, then) for all the fun! Thats the only cricket team where I've also been a hero.

PS: Srinath, I know you read all my posts. Well, I'd expect you to comment on this one. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

All about a T-shirt

The evening was slowly settling in, when we were wishing bye to an ex-colleague who had flown to Chennai last weekend. He was on the way to his hometown for a week before which he spent the weekend here. Once he left, 6 of us were left. Three of them had their own plans and were moving out, which left 3 of us (i know you're good at math; but that was just to prove i'm good too).

When we were debating on why we should go inside Spencer again, Srinath expressed his plans about buying a t-shirt for a friend, whose birthday was approaching. He said that we could send it through VJ, who was leaving to Bangalore the same day. It sounded like a good idea and VJ said ok.

In no time, we were walking along the ground floor of Spencer window shopping all the candidate shops. I was thinking what to buy in terms of picturizing a decent t-shirt in my mind. We got into an argument of what size should we buy.

I started with an S or M, when Srinath said it has to be an M and laughed over the fact that Ananth had suggested an L. Slowly, T-shirt jokes started (why wouldn't it with a XXL guy walking along with them), followed by other conversations.

After sometime, we were ordering cafe latte, cappuccino and chocolate fantasy in Coffee Day at the Food Court in Spencer. I reminded myself about the T-shirt we were supposed to buy. As soon as the chocolate fantasy came, we compared it with the one Srinath had once ordered in Madurai and laughed about the difference. This one tasted like drops of heaven.

The next time I thought about the T-shirt was when I was biking back home. I immediately asked VJ if she saw Srinath in the vicinity. He had also vanished from sight. After an hour or so, Srinath and me had a good laugh on the phone about the forgotten T-Shirt, which was almost the reason why we went back into Spencer.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Revenge of a school teacher

The spaceship seemed to be chill enough for us to survive. I was afraid though. I had warned all the others that it was a bad idea. No one would listen to me. But, we still had time to opt out of it. I made my final attempt telling, "Are you guys sure that you want to do this?". I was hushed immediately. How come no one figured out the trap we were caught in?

I realized that if I were to escape, the only way was to leave the others behind, which I never wanted to do.

I looked around once more. The sphere shaped glass ceiling of the spaceship (like we see in cartoons, Taara-Zameen-Par) seemed cool but that was no consolation. My mind was yelling softly, "Guys! Can't believe you got me into so much trouble."

Suddenly there was silence. For a moment, it looked as if we were ready to take off and the next moment, ya we did take off and were launched into space. "Doom day started", cried my mind.

I closed my eyes for what seemed like a fraction of second and when I opened it, I could see the sky. It was pitch dark, and all the stars were seen, just as one could see the sky lying on the ground from the earth. However, we were at a long distance from there.

A voice spoke. "Welcome!"

My mind reverted immediately, "Its easy for you to say, whoever the dumb-ass you may be". However, I wanted to listen to whatever he was saying.

"This is the sky you all daily see", he started. For sometime he was talking about the different constellations and how they were named. I am able to recollect Hercules, Plough, Leo, some goddess of virginity or something and how they were named. He thanked Modern astronomic techniques to have contributed to discovering more of the constellations. "Bloody Hell you will!", cried my mind.

It was pitch dark inside and on top of it, there was dense silence except for the voice that was educating us. I could not check what the other guys were up to.

The next thing I could see was traces of Pluto (how come we got here so soon, I did not understand). From there we started traversing the entire solar system.

Wherever we went the voice kept telling us what we were seeing. The unacceptable part was the explanation he was giving for every thing we saw.

It struck me finally. I kinda figured whom the voice belonged to. It was my science teacher from school. I never used to pay attention to science classes, back then. It was just learning for the sake of exams. For the science knowledge I have, a second standard (or even younger) kid could beat me without any preparation. I never imagined that my school teacher would pick 15 years later to come and avenge me for having day-dreamed during his sessions.

The explanation given by the voice seemed simple. I was able to understand everything. Moreover, pictorial learning helped. The bad/uncomfortable feeling started to go away. I started listening intently.

The voice spoke about climate/weather changes, tropic of Cancer & Capricorn, how days & nights concepts work and so on. After some more education, the voice finally came to a halt with eclipse.

The darkness came to an end. There was some light, good enough to check out what the guys were up to. I turned to my left (where two of them were seated). Both of them were sleeping happily. Bewildered, I turned right (where three of them were seated). One was just getting up from sleep, the other two were sleeping again (one with a big fat smile on his face).

So, I confirmed that it was in fact my science teacher from school who spoke to me.

I woke all of them up, we got up from the seats and left the Planetorium.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One girl! Once Again!

She looked beautiful. I was looking down straight into her eyes, which were closed. She was sleeping. Her head straight, arms on both sides of her body, legs folded a bit, a expression on her face, I bet anyone could keep looking at her forever.

However, I was on the look out for her to wake up anytime. It would probably kill the pleasure of watching her. I was not sure if she would like being watched.

For a moment, I thought I must sit back and let her see something better in case she opened her eyes. On a positive note, I checked my face in the mirror and realized it was not going to be that bad a first sight when she opens her eyes.

As all these thoughts were running around in my mind, I came back to looking at her peaceful face. Ya, I got the word right this time. Amidst all the recession, tension and bad news her face projected a calm, trouble free attitude.

My friend had tipped me about this before hand. However he told me that she did not wake up for a long time, by when he had to leave. So, I too thought she was not going to wake up.

I've always had trouble understanding a girl's mind and it proved once again. She woke up instantly.

I was taken by surprise but the way she woke up was very cute. I just smiled at her. I wanted to do nothing but give her a pleasant 'Hi' kinda expression.

Maybe it was too much for her to take. She started crying immediately. It took her mother (my friend's sister) to come running from the hall and take her in her arms to stop the crying.

As Chandler says, "That was the youngest girl ever (one month old) to have rejected me".