When did I become a grown up?

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say this happens to everyone. Almost everyone, at least. That feeling of “wow! I’m an adult now? When did that happen?”

One of the instances of that feeling accosting me occurred last weekend. I was at my sister’s place and was out for an evening walk with my sister and my 6 month-old niece when three 10-year-ish-looking girls ran towards us, all giggly. I smiled back politely and maybe encouraged by that they proceeded to tell me the story of how they saw “3 frogs.. no wait, there were 4 frogs – 3 big and 1 small.” The long story was told, debates on the size of frogs were made and they ended the story with “Don’t go there Aunty!”

When they said that, I immediately looked at my sister, because in my head, it makes sense for her to be called “aunty”. ‘Coz, you know, she has a kid and stuff. Only catch – they were clearly talking to me.  (Unless all three had crooked eyes. That is a possibility, yeah?) Then I convinced myself that they called me “aunty” ‘coz I was holding the baby – can’t blame the kids for being politically correct, can I? It took me a few more minutes to accept the reality that I am (and I look) old enough to be included in the ‘aunty’ category, especially from a 10-year-olds eye.

As we were walking back, my sister and I ended up talking about the whole ‘oh-man-she-called-me-an-aunty’. (Dear reader, I can sense you rolling your eyes at me now. I’ll stop in a bit. Thank you for your patience!) When we were talking it dawned on us that there is no equivalent term in English for the Malayalam word ‘chechi’. Technically, it means sister, but colloquially, it is used to address all women who appear to be older than you but is no old-old, geddit? You can’t ask people ‘sister, could you help me get an auto?’ whereas ‘chechi, can you help me get an auto?’ is completely acceptable. The vagaries of languages. Sigh.

As for the growing old part, I feel that there is a huge difference between growing up and feeling grown up, though I am still on the fence about the importance of the latter. All this hungama (which I am causing. Yes, I’m aware of that) is reminding me of a conversation from the movie ‘Liberal Arts’ (it’s one of my favourite movies. Go watch it if you haven’t. It’s super amazing.) which goes as follows:

Prof. Peter Hoberg: You know how old I am?

Jesse Fisher: No, how old are you?

Prof. Peter Hoberg: It’s none of your goddamn business. Do you know how old I feel like I am?

Jesse Fisher: [shrugs]

Prof. Peter Hoberg: 19. Since I was 19, I have never felt not 19. But I shave my face, and I look in the mirror, and I’m forced to say, “This is not a 19-year-old staring back at me.”

[sighs]

Prof. Peter Hoberg: Teaching here all these years, I’ve had to be very clear with myself, that even when I’m surrounded by 19-year-olds, and I may have felt 19, I’m not 19 anymore. You follow me?

Jesse Fisher: Yeah.

Prof. Peter Hoberg: Nobody feels like an adult. It’s the world’s dirty secret.

And now you have in on the dirty secret too. You can thank me in the comments. Or send me Bournville – the super dark one, not the raisins one. That works too.

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The Labyrinth

You know what I should be doing? Trying to figure out my life. You know what I am doing? Watching Adele on Youtube and pretending that I am not having a life crisis.

Story of my life.

So I am at the crossroads of life where I have to choose between the perfectly-good, decently-paid job that I have and a probably-not-well-paid, might-or-might-not-be-magnificent job that I don’t have. And since I have exhausted all the people around me by talking about this for the last few years, pretty much nobody wants to hear about this anymore. But I can’t stop obsessing over it and it’s driving me CRAZY. Hence this very short, pretty pointless blog entry.

Something I have noticed is that the catch about having something to look forward to in life is that you often get consumed in what you will do that you often forget to enjoy what you ARE doing.

As John Green writes in ‘Looking for Alaska’, “Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”

I think that is the best description of my current predicament. Nevertheless, I hope that I manage to get out of the labyrinth someday. But I wonder what awaits outside it. Another labyrinth, maybe?

 

The Bad Bad Day

It was a bad bad day. It was a not very feel-good day. You’ve probably experienced one of those before. I have too. No matter how many times you’ve had it, it is one experience that I hope we never get used to.

So where was I? Yes, bad day. What was so bad about it, you ask? Oh nothing. Nothing in particular. Just a day where you mess up a lot of things you could’ve not. You know, work things. Nothing major, just….things. I’m not being very eloquent, am I?

So what do you do when you have such days?  Seriously? The old me would’ve headed to the kitchen, made a cup of coffee, shouted a bit at amma and sat in a corner reading a good book. The new me, on the other hand, deals with such days by heading home, switching on the laptop and going through an entire season of FRIENDS/The Big Bang Theory/How I Met Your Mother/Mentalist/…., you get the gist. Effective, you’d think.

Nah.

So that’s what this post is about. (Yes, there is a purpose to this, you-snarky-person-who-is-grinning-as-you-read-this). This post is a celebration. For what, you ask? Celebration of an aberration. An anomaly. A deviation from the well-treaded path. This post is a hurray to the old-turned-new-turned-old me who is dealing with a bad, bad day by crawling in bed with a cup of coffee and a fascinating book and ending up writing a short post about it, that, in retrospect, doesn’t make much sense.

The new-found freedom

It was only the last evening while talking to a friend on phone that it dawned on me that I’ve been away from home for nearly 6 months now. Which, of course, in the larger scheme of things is kinda like a drop of water in the ocean. It’s just that I absolutely loved these last few months. And I find that amusing ‘coz if you were to call me up at this moment and ask me to educe my memories of Bangalore, I’d probably come up with more rotten ones than the other.

Huh.

On second thought, that shouldn’t surprise me so, should it? En masse, we humans have this tendency to highlight the bad over good, haven’t you felt? Trashy movies, shoddy books, third-rate politics, mediocre celebs, their sub-standard tactics…all this makes us have collective mini-orgasms. The good stuff usually makes us go “Damn, why didn’t I think of that? And now I have to sit through others praising him. And smile while I’m seething with jealousy.”

And so, it is a truth universally acknowledged that bad experiences end up being a damn good story. And yes, I realise it echoes of the first line of ‘Pride and Prejudice’. And that, keeping in with the tradition, I’ve drifted off the topic. Focus, Navmi.

So yeah, Bangalore. I keep saying Bangalore ‘coz even though I’ve been here for just 3 months, life in Gandhinagar had been a breeze compared to that here. There, everything was handed out to us in a platter – all we had to do was to shell out a few bucks to keep ‘em coming. Here, we had to start everything from scratch. You know how you watched Ayesha paint her cute little apartment in ‘Wake up Sid!’ and told yourself “That’s how it is gonna be when I move to a new place”? Well, I really don’t want to rain on your parade, but THAT is utter bullshit. When YOU move to a new place, you’re probably going to end up in a P.G which advertises free wifi, “homely” food, and a bunch of smiling owners only to realise by the end of the month that (a) it takes an hour to load Google, (b) you can only have so much dal in a day (c) you are the little Red Riding Hood and the owners may as well be the big, bad wolves in your Grandma’s clothes. So there.

And then you are going to realise that life is bloody expensive. I’m not talking about the ‘No cash for petrol’ kinda crisis. I’m talking about the one where you realise a packet of Surf Xcel costs as much as a king-sized Diary Milk Silk! And once you realise the number of chips packets you consume in a month, you’ll start wondering how your parents could afford to stay off the streets. Seriously. But hey, jokes apart, there is nothing like being completely in charge of your finances that helps you grow up. A few of us taste the first spurt of this growth in your college days. For a few others like me, it’s a completely new arena. There is nothing as baffling as watching your carefully scripted monthly budget plan falling apart in the first week of the month. From then on, it’s like increasingly depressing cricket match. Theoretically, there is hope till the last over is bowled. And yet, you get a picture of how things are gonna be in those crucial initial overs.

And somewhere between all these, you’ll start getting hounded by a newfound worry that you are not doing enough for your parents – financially or physically, whether they need it or not. There’ll be times when you’ll be astounded by the heights of your selfishness in choosing to put your life, your dreams, your independence above that of theirs. You are gonna fret over those calls that start with “I have this headache for the last few days…” or “Cholesterol level is quite high…” When they call you up to inform you about the demise of an acquaintance or a friend or are uncharacteristically silent on the phone, you are gonna catch yourself wondering “If only I were there, we could have talked about this…” You are gonna brood over that for a while and will, almost certainly, try and shake it off by watching a movie or reading a book. After all, you gotta do what you gotta do.

And in between all these, strangely enough, you’ll relish the life you live. You’ll enjoy that you can go out at 9.30pm to buy a jar of jam. Or that you can go jogging in the morning just because you felt so. Or that you can blow off a good portion of your salary on books and no one is gonna give you THAT look. Some days you’ll go up on the terrace, look at the stars and simply lie there, listening to the distant rumble of traffic, the impatient horns and wonder where everyone is going. You’ll gaze at the apartments nearby and wonder what they are doing. You’ll have the luxury of being at your whims and fancies…

Some days, most days, that’ll be enough.

LFB #2 – That Bus Ride

It was just another day. As usual, my 5 friends and I boarded the bus from our hostel to work. It had been around 2-3 weeks since we had landed at Bangalore. The city was becoming less alien and was fast losing the “Wow!” factor in our eyes as was evident by our choice of local bus over the AC-fied, extremely sleek-looking BMTC buses. Being the responsible adults that we are, we preferred skimping 20 bucks by compromising on our level of comfort so that we can hit the Commercial Street and blow up twice the amount we have saved on shoes that we’ll never wear and books that we’ve already read. Like I said, responsible adults and all.

Back to my story. So here we were, in the local bus, cramped between a cute girl with a nose-ring and enough perfume to drown out the stench from the nearby gutter & an aunty with long, loose hair which, I know not how, kept finding its way into my mouth. The conductor came in and I gave him the customary 10 Rs. And as was the practice, he didn’t give me the ticket. My friend, who asked for the ticket was dismissed with a shrug and some muttered words (most probably, it was Kannada). Nothing unusual in that. In Bangalore, you get tickets only in the above-mentioned sleek-looking BMTC buses.

In the next stop, the aunty with long, loose hair that kept getting into my mouth (and tastes disgusting, btw) got down only to be replaced by a kakhi-wearing uncle. He came in and asked the cute-girl-with-the-nose-ring for her ticket. She promptly explained that she had already paid but was not issued a ticket by the conductor. She looked towards our conductor, who looked rather frightened and said that since she didn’t give him 2 Rs. change, he had not given her a ticket. On hearing this, the kakhi-clad conductor said (in Kannada) “Alright then. Travelling without a ticket is a crime. Pay Rs.140 as fine.”

And thus started the drama.

Within seconds, the cute-girl-with-the-nose-ring turned to a Kannada-spouting version of the girl that the author of the lines ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ had in mind. She went on and on in full steam, alternately shouting at the conductor (who, by now, was feebly trying to say “she did take a ticket”) and volubly refusing to pay the fine. And with good reason. Apparently, she HAD given the prefixed amount of Rs.12. The conductor, in order to slip that amount into his pocket, had not accepted that 2 Rs. and not given the ticket too. This, we later came to know, was a common trick in local buses.

In between all this hungama, that girl somehow got down at her stop and the kakhi-clad conductor turned his fury towards us. We explained, rather tried to explain, that we had paid the amount and didn’t receive the ticket. But the kakhi-clad conductor wouldn’t listen to any of it. He kept on saying “Fine of Rs.140, fine of Rs.140” By then, in true Kannada movie style, another kakhi-clad conductor got onto the bus and blocked the back door to prevent us from getting down at our stop. As things started getting a bit ugly, one of my friends (who, incidentally, is the perfect example for the quote ‘appearances can be deceptive’) suggested that we pay up, only to be silenced by 5 pairs of Bharatanatyam-style stares.

By now, the kakhi-clad conductor had started scolding us in Kannada. Not to be left behind, we retaliated in a mix of Hindi, English and Telugu. Next he came up with a “brilliant” idea – we pay up the fine, he’ll question the conductor ‘properly’ and if our claims were found to be true, he’d send us back the money to our address!

When we refused to give our address after repeated ‘instructions’, he took out the ‘Brahmastra’.

“Take the bus to the police station,” he shouted, rather dramatically.

“Alright then, take the bus to the police station”, we retaliated.

This went on for a few minutes. By this time, all the locals in the bus, with the exception of a gentleman (alright, a good-looking gentleman. Gawd! Just let me get on with my story, will you?) who worked at UST Global and had supported us right from the beginning, had started getting pissed off with us and the drama. Unable to withstand the pressure, the kakhi-clad conductors made our bus conductor pay Rs.720 as fine right before us, and let us go. Finally.

So the moral of the story? If you get into a bus at B’lore, before you give the money, always ask “Ticket kodi..”  Might save ya quite a bit of trouble later on, you know.

Live From Bangalore

That tangy smell of coriander being sautéed…I’ve always associated that with the feeling of being at home. For there is little that says “Welcome home” like having your nostrils burned by the smell of spices. So here I am, another day, another place and yet, very much at home. Only this time, it’s my sister pottering around the kitchen, trying to whip up something edible from a mass of greens and pulses. Every time I look at her, I get this kinda maternal vibe…a sense of pride as if she is what she is because I am who I am. Does that make sense?

So here I am. New day, new place. The same old sense of excitement. But this time, there are no nerves. Bangalore seems as much home as Thrissur. Now how is that? I don’t know the language, the people… and considering the fact that I’m one of the most geographically challenged people existing on the face of earth, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t know any of the places too. And yet, my mind is at ease. There is something about Bangalore that welcomes you right in. It seems to have a place for you, whoever you are. And somehow, I have this gut feeling that life here isn’t gonna have as many peaks and ditches as life at Gandhinagar. Let’s see…

Meanwhile, I’d appreciate it if those of you who knows Bangalore like the back of your hand or knows someone who knows someone who knows Bangalore like the back of their hand lemme know about what to do at the so-called happening city of India. Good eateries (‘coz after all, food comes first), good music, fun places to hang out (which are, preferably, rather easy on the pocket)…anything and everything about the place. So do drop me a message with suggestions, wokay?

More on life here later. Go…have fun!

To Elsie Teacher…

It is common knowledge that teenage is a rather difficult period in life. From parents to the teenagers themselves, the thirteen-going-on-thirty age is that of rebellion and poor grades and what-nots. But I beg to differ. My teens are some of the best years of my life. It was the time I learned to live, to have fun, to be a reasonably confident human being with dreams and aspirations and the will to work for them.

A trip to your past is always a tad bit painful, especially if you aren’t all that proud of who you were back then. But there are some episodes and a few guest actors who made the journey seem a lot easier than it was. Like Elsie teacher.

She taught me Geography in High School, Elsie teacher did. Now how do I describe her? Hmm…remember Molly Weasley? Well Elsie teacher was the desi-version of Mrs.Weasley – the mommy-bear with that uncanny ability to know, just KNOW, whenever you were about to do something that you shouldn’t. It is common knowledge that Elsie teacher has eyes on the back of her head (nope, I’m not kidding. Ask anyone!). Add in the fact that her English was impeccable enough to give actual English teachers a run for their money and has a disposition that made mugging up ‘Which crop was harvested where’ fun, Elsie teacher was truly everyone’s ‘El favorito’.

Which is why I feel compelled to jot all of this down when I read that Elsie teacher was retiring this year. Frankly I’m a bit shocked. Elsie teacher is to Bhavans what Sachin is to India, and I don’t say that lightly. This woman has single-handedly reduced six-foot-tall, tiny-moustache-spouting, offensively-argumentative boys that reek of unauthorised-football-matches into teen-boys who double up with laughter at her razor-sharp wit and good-natured digs at the excuses they come up. And no, no one bunks Elsie teacher’s Geography class. As if…!

I can go on and on about her. Truly, I can. But there is no way that I can put into words the gratitude I have towards her for helping me decide who I want to be – and I don’t mean professionally. My definition of “me” goes beyond the “engineer” that I am to the pretty decent (Ahem…:D) human being that I have grown up to be.

To Elsie teacher who told me that I “speak well”, which lead to a slew of Extempore-participations that ended up with me blubbering on like an idiot. But no regrets!

To Elsie teacher who was my class teacher in 9th and Geography teacher in 10th, to the lady who taught me to be comfortable in my skin, to stick to your beliefs when you are right as long as you don’t get your ass on fire (and no, she wouldn’t mind me using that language. Told ya she’s cool B-)

Now I realise that there is a very good chance that she don’t remember me and an even better chance that she has no idea how important her role has been in grooming not just me, but at least 49 others like me, and yet I have to write this down, if not for me, then for the hundreds of kindred spirits who had been blessed enough to be touched by the Elsie-magic.

Dear Elsie teacher,

               It is pointless, wishing you all the good in the world, for no bad can befall you when you have the prayers of hundreds/thousands of students who adore the ground you walk on. For all that you said and did, and for all that you didn’t. For never EVER yelling at us, for teaching us it’s okay to lose a game or two as long as you enjoyed playing it. For that lovely, if slightly naughty, smile that you always ALWAYS had, muah!!

You were, are and will always be one of the BEST teachers we ever had. And we freaking love ya to death 🙂

Inspired by Usha teacher’s (another one of those cool teacher’s from school. Told ya we have quite a few of them!) post titled “Elsie Abraham, Teacher Extraordinaire!”

Live From Gujarat #1

Almost a month back, when I was all set to move to Gujarat, I put up a post in Facebook covertly poking fun of a certain Mr. Development. It is common knowledge that I’m a secularism-spouting, slightly-pretentious, arguably-naive new kid on the block and hence by principle I was against Mr. Development. So I stepped into Gujarat rather curious to see the much-touted “development” – I was all set to report the level of deceptiveness of all those articles that was buzzing around every Indian’s ears.

My first day in Gujarat was pretty much what I expected. The road connecting the airport to the Old Ahmedabad city started deteriorating exponentially as we moved away from the airport. Filthy roads crowded with chaiwallahs (pun not intended. Honestly!), roadside vendors, not to mention hoards of animals, vehicles that buzzed around with little or no regard for traffic or the lives of the pedestrians, women with every inch of their body covered to protect themselves from the unbelievable dust… the scoffer in me grinned like a maniac. See..! This…this right here is the development you were talking about huh?? What a Modification of the truth!

And so I started my life in Gujarat with a certain sense of peace. I was right after all…who doesn’t love hearing that? (Even if you are the only person who is saying it!) Nowhere I looked could I see even the ghosts of the much-touted D-word. All was well.

It started out with little things. Like how I could walk around at 9.00 in the night without a care in the world, reassured at the sight of the police vans at every other junctions. Or how I am yet to sit through an hour of power failure. Or the beautifully paved roads lined with sturdy & shady gulmohar trees on either side. It was with no little horror that I realised that I have been sighing in contentment a tad too often for my comfort! “So…?” I argued with myself. “It wasn’t as if I was hosting chai pe charcha. And I wasn’t even impressed with what I was seeing.”

And then I went on a trip to Ahmedabad City.

As you might have heard, thanks to the relentless media music, Gujarat is home to one of the largest man-made lakes India, the Kankaria Lake. It was during the journey from Kankaria Lake to ISKON Mall in Ahmedabad that I first came across Janmarg. Janmarg, which means ‘the people’s way’ in Gujarati, is a rapid transit bus service system that was inaugurated in late 2009 by the then Chief Minister Mr.You-Know-Who.

Now Janmarg…Janmarg blew my mind. As a civil-engineer who has often lamented on why-can’t-India-have-a-comfy&attractive-public-transport-system, to say that Janmarg had me drooling would be the understatement of the year. Dedicated lanes just for public transport which ensured zero traffic-jams, smart-cards for ticketing, numerous flyovers, automated buses and middle-of-the-corridor bus stations…I had goosebumps by the time I got down at the destination. Later I heard that the Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited went so far as to offer free rides to commuters for three months before commissioning the service to get suggestions, most of which it implemented. I seriously contemplated rearranging my priorities and, at a weak moment, inching over to the dark side.

No kidding.

So what’s with those dusty roads and emancipated kids selling chai on the road-side, you ask? The covered up women and the dangerously speeding vehicles…the roads with not one speed-breaker or pavement or a shadow of a cop… Turns out I hadn’t chosen the best galli of Gujarat to shack-up in those initial days.

Funny it didn’t dawn on me earlier considering how everywhere I looked, kajal-rimmed eyes and paan-smeared lips had smiled at me.

Live from Gujarat

Hey!

Long time huh? It has been for me. You see, I’ve gone through some monumental changes in life in the past few days. I’ve moved from home to Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad for work. It has been a bit of a change – one that I expected to be much more challenging than it has turned out to be so far. Initially, hidden in my proclamations of delight at living in North India, I was rather sceptical about staying away from home for the first time in my entire life. In fact, the first two days were a bit hard, especially yesterday. Not in a I-wanna-meet-my-amma way, but in a oh-my-god-what-the-hell-am-I-gonna-do-if-I-can’t-manage-to-stay-away-from-home-without-getting-depressed kinda panic. But somehow, magically, all was resolved after an evening walk around our neighbourhood. You see, now that is one of the many things I’ve come to love about this place. Since there are quite a few and I have a history of being a non-sequencer, I’ll just list out those to ya all. Ready?

  1. The best – and by that I mean BEST – thing about living in Gandhinagar is the fact that you can roam about at night (till 9.00 – haven’t been out beyond that though our curfew time is 10.00 pm) with minimal worries. There’ll be multitudes of people out on the road, men and women, at all times. There is also a Police Station about 10 metres from where we live, so that gives an extra sense of security.
  2. The second best thing is the weather. It is perfect at the moment – not too cold that I’ll have to use a sweater nor too hot. Esp at night, though I’ve been warned that it is about to change with the advent of summer.
  3. The people – truly one of the best things. There are people from Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal…my roommates hail from Orissa and Gujarat respectively. Am revelling in the diversity – in terms of language, customs, looks, accents…its beautiful!
  4. The chance to hone my Hindi. I always knew I could handle Hindi but it’s only after I came here that I realised that I was proficient enough to actually have conversations in Hindi with native Hindi speakers and get away with it!

That’s all I can think of at the moment. The only problem…well, I wouldn’t define it as a problem as such…so, let me rephrase that. The only slight hiccup is the food. South Indian food is not available as much as is needed and what little of it is available is way too expensive for day-to-day consumption. North Indian food that is available at the canteen is nothing like the authentic North Indian food, but hey, one can’t have everything, right?

All in all, enjoying the first week at Gandhinagar. For sure.

3rd Floor Cafe

3rd Floor Cafe @ www.thirdfloor.in (Picture Courtesy: Third Floor- Cafe (Facebook Page))
3rd Floor Cafe @ http://www.thirdfloor.in
(Picture Courtesy: Third Floor- Cafe (Facebook Page))

This is an experiment. One that I’ve never done before. You know how I talk on and on about traveling solo and living alone and all that blah? Well, it has been quite a while since I realised that I, who dreams of solitude, has been subjected to my company seldom, if at all. I don’t go shopping alone, I don’t spend time alone and I’ve never, ever been in a restaurant alone. Hell, I’m someone who gets agitated and embarrassed if I reach a shop before my friend and has to spend 10 min alone. What do I do with myself? Are people judging me? Are they laughing at me? Such zillion stupid questions cross my mind. And I dream of travelling alone. Ironic, right?

Which is why today I came up with something iconic. Anyway, I’m jobless (erm..unemployed, I mean). So it’s not like I have anything to do or anywhere to be. So rather than rushing home from some chores I had to attend to, I headed to a place I’ve been to just once or twice. 3rd Floor Café. I expected to have a good, silent few hours by myself so imagine my dismay when, on reaching the place, I found it infested by people – a lot of guys, to be precise- and a lot of red heart balloons. Ugh. At this juncture, may I clarify that while I have nothing against V-Day, I’d prefer not to be drawn into the hoopla that surround it. So where was I..? Yeah, the dread with which I walked into the café. (In case you wondered, I did briefly contemplate copping out and leaving, but by then I was already at the door, and leaving seemed a bit…awkward)

So I walked in (All eyes on me. Don’t panic and do something stupid, N. Please don’t, I tell myself) Slinks into a corner, away from human eyes, separated by a wooden block from open view. Ah…the relief. Silence. Ducks my head and opens the laptop. Okay. That’s better. A pleasant girl comes in and takes my order. Lemon tea and French fries. Okay. I’m alright. Nobody’s glaring at me for taking up a 6 seater table all for myself. At least, not yet.  Maybe this is not as bad as I feared it would be. I slowly take a quick glance around. Strange. Nobody’s looking at me – The-girl-who-just-walked-into-the-café-alone-and-opened-up-the-laptop. I screw up the courage and take another look around. People playing chess, people having conversation, a sprinkle of couples – lovely ambiance. There’s a guy with a guitar in one corner. Cool, na? Imagine my surprise when all of a sudden a few guys started singing ‘Nenjukkul Peididum Maamazhai’! So beautifully too. Ah…so live music – I didn’t expect that.

And that, my dear readers is how I ended up spending 2 splendid hours of my life, typing away furiously on my laptop and having multiple cups of tea, serenaded by beautiful live music (ah how lovely it sounds – just vocals and guitar) and enjoying every moment of it. Oh..and they gave me a complementary Oreo when I ordered my second cup of lemon tea! Little things that count. I feel as if I’m living a life I’ve read about in books and seen in Hollywood movies

Am I making too much of a small afternoon? Maybe I am. It’s just something that doesn’t happen often in Thrissur. At least, not to me or anyone I know. And I’m feeling happy, you know. That’s all that is important.