Sunday, April 13, 2008

A mad, mad, mad, day....

I had a dahi batata puri at Elco, Bandra

Yesterday, was a mad, mad, bad day. First had to sort out my medical papers as the Mediclaim people threatened not to pay for my recent hospitalisation. That done, I had to get papers in order for the loan for my house re-construction, and meet the bank manager, who gave me a few more papers to be organised. Guess, nothing will ever be complete and this will go on like that for another month.

Joanna, a former colleagues with whom I am in contact by email and cell phone, lives near the bank and I drop in to visit after a long break of fifteen years. She is married and has a son aged seven years. She works from home and is happy to watch her son grow. I learn that her dad had passed away, I offer condolences. None of our other friends keep in touch, she says ruefully. Guess they have passed on in life, and people who pass on are like wanderers in the journey of life, and never look back, except me and her, I supposed. She gives me a glass of sherbet (was it Tang?) with ice cubes in them and I gulp it down because it's so hot outside. Her son comes in and I make conversation. Do you have a lot of friends? Who's your favorite author? Enid Blyton? I like to treat children as adults and ask them adult questions, and not the 'Tikku, beta, whath ish your name, sweetheart?' type of questions. He answers all my questions and is not shy in the least. Guess he likes to be treated as an adult. I say goodbye to Joanna promising to meet often.

And then there was the Caferati readmeet. I rest for a while after reaching home, have lunch, and fall asleep, and before I know it it's 4 p.m. I hurriedly dress, and, no, I don't have time to wear kurta - shalwar as I had originally intended. So drag myself into my trusted jeans from Westside, and I am off. On reaching Santa Cruz station nobody knows a road called "North Avenue" where Pinstorm is located. (It's where the readmeet is being held.) The road outside the station is filled with sluggishly moving cars and autorickshaws, and the driver of the latter contraption in which I am sitting says he knows the place and then he confesses he is not from the locality. Guess the road names have changed, and nobody knows it by its old names except the old gentleman who sells grams and peanuts on a road few blocks away. I abandon the rickshaw and decide to walk, and call Suniti to ask for directions.

When I reach Pinstorm the readmeet is almost half finished. I meet and greet old Caferatii which include Arjun, Mayuri, Jugal, and of course, the regulars including Suniti, Jane, Col. Puri, Raamesh, Laxmi, Jhumur, Shishir, Peter, Netra, and many I don't remember right now. Forgive me, my memory goes blank there.

Then after the meet, we go to Elcom for a bit of socialsing and some chaat, Jhumur insisted she will have nothing but chaat. So I have a dahi batata puri, one of my favorite chat dish.

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