Saturday, June 24, 2006

Coffee, Tea Or My Me?

Disclaimer – Though a lot of passing years has jaded my memory, I have tried to be as accurate as accurate can be.

I have always had a soft corner for village tea shops. We were truly spoilt for choices at the place where I grew up. We had three shops to choose from and I was a spoilt brat, thanks to my grand dad, who was quite a prominent figure.

Those ancestral-home visits were reserved for the long holidays. Many times have I gone to bed praying for it to start the very next day. But when I woke up, it was still those four white walls, looking and being looked upon.

The tea shops were always the same, the ambience never changed. If in one, the goddess smiled down on you with a shower of gold coins, at the next, it was Jesus Christ with an open wound to his heart, oozing blood and love. It smelled my favourite smell at the third tea-shop – that of freshly squeezed coconut oil.

It was in these shops that the world came together. It was in these shops that the news of the world was gathered and dispelled. It was here that a million 'matches-made-in-heaven' was finalized and it was here that rebellion first came to my little village. It was the place where my father got his strong circle of friends and it was here that I wished I could emulate my father and his close circle.

It was a million things in one, and then some more. It was a million things that many thought would not change, but did. It was a million things that described me, and then became strangers.

I walked those roads recently when I was home. Later, I wished I hadn’t.

The dried palm-leaf roof was gone, hard concrete boiled down on me. The little card-board sign which proclaimed the hotels name was long dead and gone. Plastic coated vinyl sheets glared down at me. The little wooden shelf which displayed the little round snacks were little no more. Nor were they wooden.

It was an 'Impersonal' steel hue everywhere, as long as my tear stained eye went. My old land was gone, to never ever come back. As I walked home, it began to rain, first as a drizzle and then as a torrent. For a fleeting moment, I felt god sharing my pain, for things that had gone horribly wrong.

Maybe one day, I will tell my grand children…'' Before Pepsi and Coke overtook my country, there were these three little tea shops…''
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shumyla said...

U have a very 'neat' blog here..the various aspects of life that u have touched through ur writings are something to ponder on.Very remarkable.

chandni said...

that's a touching one...

I know how u we all feel about change in this way...but then its part of development in some ways....the things that children grow with...even when u have urs...will change by the time they have theirs...

even when i remember seems like from another era...things like gold spot...can only be understood by someone who had a relationship with these...

Sharan Sharma said...

Nice one, CC!
In our country, it's never a blend of the old and new. It's always 'make way' for the new - at least in the last 60 years. We do not know how to cherish certain things. We do not know how to value simplicity. We try and ape the west - for the wrong reasons! We adopt the materialism but never emulate their discipline, governance and a 100 other things we can take away from them.
I think we're completely headed in the wrong direction. Such a pity.

Arti Honrao said...

"Maybe one day, I will tell my grand children…'' Before Pepsi and Coke overtook my country, there were these three little tea shops…''"

Yeah ... that is going to be d scenario everywhere!!


shumyla said...

Hi, i am indeed surprised that u cant view reallyposh's blog coz u have already posted a comment on it and that is where i came to know about ur blog..

shumyla said...

Oh and abt being invisible ... been too busy lately..

ursjina said... this rains..u have reminded me of that...and i am yearning for it..:(

Pineapple Princess! said...

It always hurts to go to a place that should be familiar, but has changes just enough for you to realize it isn't what it used to be. "home is gone". Thanks for the comment on my blog. hope to see you again soon!

Neers said...

thank you.. "greek"er :) for stopping by... rains, tea shop... old school... nostalgia... hurts and is still so close to us...! :)

thanks again! keep up the posts :)

aarshi said...

"each a glimpse and gone forever..."

there's always something that survives. besides the remembrance.

we did a school play about calcutta were a woman comes back to the city she was born in after years. malls had replaced markets.

but there was still the same old phuchkawala standing at the corner of the road.