Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Half a cup of Tea - A young friend ( unedited )

As the night was setting its mood I could see a cluster of lights of all the hues shining on the ranges , though the fog over the hills was making these lights blur. In the narrow streets I could smell the aroma of freshly cooked rice , rum and meat from the houses and restaurants which were flanking these narrow streets. I was hungry , tired and myself . The oriental music on the streets or the prayer gongs were no more soothing the mood as I was desperately looking for a home for night.

After walking for around 10 minutes I saw a shop “Asia's Best Chai”. As I entered I saw a table waiting for me the only table in the shop . The walls were made up of dried bamboos and the half rusted tin roof rested on bamboo pillars dug in the uneven cement flooring .Amidst the loud noise of stove I heard a voice “ its cold today , see on the mountains , the snow fall (1) ”. He was a Boy almost half my age almost 5 feet tall, fair complexion , dressed up like any boy of his age in the metros . A nike sweat shirt with a hood , tight fitted very low waist jeans and all star fleets, lean for amount of clothing he had . Sparsely placed hair on his face showing early signs of puberty.His lower jaw was positioned slightly above the average position which made his lower lip slightly more visible than his upper lip and this was slightly affecting accent of his recently acquired english skills.

Pumping the stove more vigorously he smiled at me and said “Sir ….Special Chai ?” . I nodded my head in affirmative. All the while when he was preparing the “Asia's Best Chai” , he kept telling a lot of stories. How immigrants have encroached the area ? How business is affected due to Bandhs for free tibet call ? To how he had with a German lady while supplying her Baba”cannabis” in a rave party last year ? By the time he was telling me the story of how a local hotel was raided during last new year celebration my tea was ready , interrupting the story in between he asked candidly “ anything to eat sir”and yes I was hungry .

Looking at my backpack he curiously asked “are you looking for a place to stay “ . I stopped munching on the sweet rusks , taking a sip of the tea I again nodded my head in affirmative. He smiled at me and said “ why are you angry isn't the tea good? Or are you not liking the stories?” I thought like a cynic “Am I entitled to be judged by a small boy who hardly crossed his teens or I have lost the joy of conversation , living in the cities of silence ?” . Somehow a genuine smiled cracked at the corners of my lips “ whats ur name ?” . “Shivam” .”well Shivam , tea was good as good as your stories” . He smiled at those words and was about to tell me another story . The cynic in me questioned " is that smile and the stories are expected to result in loosening my wallet for a tip”.Its surprising How a man asks for hapiness and smiles around him in his prayers and when there are smiles he doubts them.

By the time I finished my tea and he finished the stories the shops on the street were closed .He counted the change he had earned in the day and placed few coins in piggybank while keeping a part of his sales with him . He took a pack of rusks while closing down the shop.

It was ten PM at night . As we exhaled it was visible on the street .There were Dogs barking on the streets ferocious ones fighting for the littered food on street. He threw the pack of rusks for them and all of those ferocious creatures started running towards us. “ hold on they never bite anyone” the boy said looking at me . I freezed at my place till the dogs savoured the rusks and then moved on .
A futile thought crossed my mind “ is it okay following the directions of a stranger boy ? May be he ties me up with his accomplices on a pine tree and will run away with my belongings ?”. With a rucksack carrying clothing for next two days , a shaving kit , a few rupees , less than what the boy earned in a day and a good book to read I didn't had much to loose , made me smile . There are only a few moments in life when you are happy having a smaller baggage, this was one of them. When you have a smaller baggage you climb quickly and trust easily.

"Its just around the corner and don't tell at home that I smoked “ he told me while puffing a ciggarette hastily ….....

copyright(2005) virender vyas

Friday, September 24, 2010

Half a cup of tea - (random)

I was a little late for the early prayers. The Sexagenarian lama nodded his head looking at me,and said “ You are Late”. His voice had the characteristic of transmission Wires, humming with high voltage and for a moment resonated with the vibrations of my heart. The expressions on his face were of a learned scholar , perhaps he knew more than my late arrival he actually knew “I was Late”.

I stood there in the silence, feeling the warmth of the wooden floor, the fragrance of incense sticks,the compassion in the air . In front of me was a brass statue of Buddha sitting blissfully between heaps of Bourborns, Pringles, Sugar candies decorated in stacks. I gazed at every corner of the big hall ,the golden yellow Robe of Budhha , the traditional paintings on yellow silk, the gigantic Gongs and brass horns, arrays of light from the butter candles, wrinkles on the face of lama and a staircase leading towards an Attic. There was a sense of overwhelming peace inside and outside me. After offering my silent prayers I chose to step out of the temple.

The view outside was slightly hazy with a dense fog surrounding the Monastery. Sun was about to set , the sky was cold with the silence. As I stepped out from the gate of temple and entered the flea street wet with rains there was a new culture waiting for me , an old Tibetan lady in the background of steam emanating from aluminium vessel selling dumplings , People sipping coffee under the open sky and puffing smoke, Shoppers bargaining for antique looking stuff – colourful marbles, turquoise
stones, jewellery made from stones and metals of all hues, people reading advertisement posters on the wall – Meditation classes, Reiki classes, music classes , new year eve party and the message of FREE TIBET with a back drop of yellow, blue and red rays emanating from Sun. There were people on street - white , black , brown and not so vivid shades of these colours. A German bakery crowded with Israeli people. Black coffee with white sugar .Flavors on the table - Apfelstrudel,Schwarzwaldkuchen,noodle soup and flavours from Tibet. Sounds on the street – Oriental music ,chanting of mantras, rotating prayer wheels ,Honking of horns, hush-hush from conversations.

And I arrived for a new departure .

P.S : Gives me immense pleasure to be back AGAIN on my blog. Thanks for your support friends.

copyright(2005) virender vyas

Monday, September 14, 2009

Half a Cup of tea (interlude)

I don't have some old letters preserved in the corners of room to read and revive
the memories of time spent with her , nor i have her pics but one sketch made
on a piece of tissue in a coffe shop .The blotted ink on that piece of paper reminds me
it was raining that day and she was in her best of moods , playing with her green hair
clip,clutching it into my arm and laughing everytime i complained it hurts .

On nights like this when its raining outside,when i gaze out of the window
and a gentle breeze gushes in my room ,when i call her number but i get no reply
there's this feeling that i can't explain .Only three simple words “I miss her”
i miss her more than ever.Everytime you miss someone,there's this feeling
that makes you do things that you start missing them even more.I read all
conversations we ever text to each other,and its an amazing feeling going back
in time,peeling off the layers and looking at the seed of love buried deep down
in your heart,and sometime piled under the numerous messages in your cellphone.
Feeling the same excitement you felt when you text her the first time and keep
looking at your cellphone for the next few hrs,waiting for that beep ..

continued ...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Half a cup of tea - (Chapter -17) I met her sorrow

It was 2 am in the morning , what most of us would say the middle of the night.
I was lying there on a cold numb floor looking at the cieling of my room. The thoughts
were crawling fast on my mind , that time i never sensed it was cold and whole of my body was going numb. "Will she ever love me the way people get loved?”
She was deep in slumbers in the other room . All this time i was thinking about this silhouette lying in the other room , a svelte , silhouette who was all about love for me.

I took a Marlboro and dragged the fag . Not really smoked but tried to puff some rings out of the smoke.In the smoky dark things were not certain to me , about this relationship if I could call it one .And here he was lying , Atharv, still like his name with a bunch of maddening emotions within .
She had wished me a gudnite and some sweet dreams some two hours back .I was still thinking the same thing. “ should I have kissed her a gudnite ? should I have hugged her a gudnite ? should I have gazed in her lovely deep eyes ?”
In the middle of all this , when I was oblivious of my surroundings . She came through the aisle inbetween and said “You have insomnia or its just the ciggi that keeps u awake ? “ she said sarcastically smiling . I didn't let the wonderful feeling go away
“ well I have other pretty things keeping me awake" , I said looking at her eyes mischieviously. She looked into my eyes and said “ well i'm kinda loosing sleep these days too” .
“ I hope its not me,though I will wish for it” I mummbeled jumbelled with some laughter springing in silent room.
“ And about your sleepless nights,I know its me, but its not something I wished for” there was a melancholy in her voice this time. She kissed me on my cheeks for the first time ever and went to the other room draping herself in a wollen shawl.
“ sometimes u want something, well you get that something ,but then at that moment somehow you can't hold that something” she said and walked away .
And that was the first time I got to know about her pain , though oblivios of wat it was,
and I thought to myself “ I want to heal her sorrow” .

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Half a cup of tea -4 (Atharv @ 21)

( 6 months before meeting Tinkii)
When he was born things were different .No cries in the labor room , no waking up in
the middle of night to bug his parents . Thats How he got this name Atharv. Tharv in sanskrit means something that is unstable prefixing an A makes it the opposite “stable” .And here he was 21 yrs later hoping in the pubs at the new city he had landed into. Had grandma been alive at the moment she would have rechristened her to Tharv. If there was some word to describe the fellow it was “canvas fucking procrastinator” . He was a professional artist who entered into realms of modern art which he proudly hung in his 1 and a half bedroom apartment at chembur . Professionaly he was an art director for a media house.Why he decided to be an artist is another story . Procrastinator is a tag attached to him since his school days he wouldn't complete the homework and assignments which he thought useless back in school . So on one such occassion to rescue his hands from the wrath of a blaster cane , he participated in one drawing competition and emerged as the artist numero uno . That was the day he decided he'll take up this canvas fucking job as his career. Back in his senior school days , when puberty was playing with the hormones of the body , the artist in making was working hard . He had sketch of every beautiful gal in his school with and without clothes . He was a master in making the nude sketches and was in much demand with his pals .And parents thought the boy is talented. After finishing his school he went to study fine arts and graduated with “ flying colours “ . Every graduate of fine arts passes with flying colours for that matter.
Atharv was the only son of his parents . Everybody at home wanted him to be a Doctor.But he could not think of messing up cadavers with the scalpel . “artist are noble than doctors , doctors get life to someone little less of it , and artist get lifeless things to life” he would say always after screwing up in his Pre-Medicals. Only his mom could feel proud of an artist son . Though his father beleieved he was still a kid and it will take another decade when he realises his potential and moves to something productive .His dad was a govt servant working in a bank like most of the indian middle class people.
Now at 21 Atharv was living out of his home for almost 4 years and 7 months .
First four years graduating and seven months into a job as an Art director . He would miss the greens back at home. often at weekends .He would stand at the balcony of his home early in the mornings which gave a view of high rise buildings and yellow and black taxis raging on the flyovers . He would stand here and feel the chill of winters and used to mention it to his roomie “ The patio is good for nothing , no wonder modern art is appreciated in metros , for the beauty of nature can't be appreciated by those who haven't seen . We always appreciate the things here which belongs to us “ he will shut the door and switch on travel and living on his TV his favourite channels to watch on.
He had small hands with sharp fingers , perfect for holding paint brushes though small for a man of 5 feet 8 inches . He had a robust personality with broad shoulders , upright structure jet black hair cut short like military cadets . A clean shaven guy who was often seen in the rags for a jeans and plain kurtas like most artists in town . Though he was much a fashion honcho who will not hesitate to spot monocolour shirts from any colour in spectrum with any rock n roll figure on them a real digger for music he was .

P.S Typos i know i suck at typing on my archaic keyboard

Monday, December 29, 2008

Half a cup of tea -3 ( Reverbrations )

It was still a perfect winter of hills.I was puffing black smoke to my lungs.I sometime
feel guilty when i smoke.For fucking my lungs and polluting the clean foggy greens with the black soot containing chemical conglomeration of death or may be pursuitless hang.
With half a cup of tea and a half smoked ciggarette i was looking at the green hills in front of me.The same hills which symbolized optimistic romanticism were sort of standing like renegade of any term which has romance in it . Still the air was fresh .And then i let out a shout in the silent hills “Eureka “ and i was taken back to the roads i travelled once .

It was almost 7 hrs we were travelling in the same bus but still i didn't know much about Tinkii. Only two facts Tinkiii was beautiful , and i was may be slipping. “hey .. have you ever watched trainspotting “ i said abruptly waking her from slumbers so beautiful .
She woke up slowly yawning .”no never watched but did a lot. Neways are you into drugs” she asked like she really thought i was high on something or may be mischiveously ,giving a slight hint of smile. “ No i'm high on something else“ i said giving a sheepish smile . She took out a container which looked like cookieman , from her louis vitton and offered me ”Are they baked in LSD or marijuana ? “ i asked taking a cookie in my hand .
“ no my oven “ she replied with a sense of wit and confidence in her tone.
The taste of cookies was gud except for the buttery smell and a tinge of salty flavour .
“ i never had something like this “ . “ yes they are homemade cookies and the receipe is
not usual indian “ she said like she was some cookie baker in the town . “ i bet u must have watched chocolate “ i said taking another cookie out of the box. “ yes Depp is such a darling can't miss him in any movie Finding Neverland is my favourite “ she said licking a cookie like it would be Johnny Depp fried in olive oil . “ i bet he is on drugs , thats how he performed so well in Blow just like the real drug mafia” i said displaying my knowledge about things that were may be interesting to her.
After travelling for long our bus was finally taking sharp turns on the hills with a thick layer of fog surrounding us . There was a sudden halt and passengers stopped for the dinner . With the cookies in my guts i was not in a mood to have some food, but sure i
was hungry to talk to her som more . “ Do you precisely remeber when was the last time u did star gazing ? “ i asked pointing towards a sky with some patches of stars and some patches of clouds , and a crescent moon . She wrapped herself in a shawl and put on the hood of her sweat shirt . Raising her shoulders near her head she let her hands inside the pockets of that jacket . “ not exactly but i think , i will next time “ and smiled thru the hood in a chilly night . We sat in a corner looking up in the sky , showing each other constellations and silly shapes formed out of clouds . “Thats like a mickey mouse “ .“ This one looks like jerry “ "This is like popeye's biceps” She was like a kid who tuned into cartoon channel after a long . And i responded with a smile to everything she said .
“Have u ever shouted like your loudest in the mountains and listened to its echo”
I asked her pointing towards the mountain which were barely visible except the shining tops which were clad with snow in this season. “ I think i tried but don't know it was my loudest , give me a word and ill shout loud “ she said . “ well in an expression of archimedes eureka just shout out loud EUREKA , as you have found something” . She laughed for a moment and then cleared her throat , getting her both hands close to her mouth she shouted “ EUREKA” , was barely reverberating in the air . But was beautiful listening to her trying to shout and failing at that. Everyone was looking at us at that moment in awe and surprise. And there we stood laughing at each other .

Half a cup of tea -2 (Tinkii tsering )

As we settled in the seats of the bus . I noticed a blue nosepin on the right side of her nose , which was shining whenver bus travelled through a patch of sunlight.She was sitting on window seat. And i was sitting adjacent to her,on my other side was this peculiar person in his mid thirties who was not sparing a chance to look at this beautiful gal.After some 15 minutes of travelling and rambling about the chilling weather i asked her “Your name must be sarika “.
“ Not at all” she giggled .There was this peculiar innocence in her smile rather a laughter. As she was laughing i could see the pearl white teeth spaced consistently . While smiling her eyes became small from the corners and brown iris shined with a glow,her pink cheeks which are charcterstics of ppl from hilly areas protruded from cheekbones while she laughed. She was a fair girl with slightly brown hair with a streak of auburn hair which reminded me of Kate Winslet in eternal sunshine of the spotless mind . Of course the girl sitting besides me was not a punk , streaks suited her gracefully .
“ what made you think i'm sarika ?” she was laughing like i had just told her some joke
from the best jokebook in the world. i just turned to her and with an intelligent smile i started gazing into nowhere and with both the hands brought out in front of me i said “see uhh .. i have this habit from childhood , whenver i see someone the first thing i do is start guessing the name of the person . When i was a kid still in my kindergarten on my 4th birthday my dad gifted me a yellow bus. On the windows of bus were stickers with different faces looking outside . There were almost 10 different faces. I had name for everybody . A girl with spectacles named - Reena . A guy with curly hair - Madhu “
“huh .. so what about me that makes me Sarika “ she started laughing like she has been to a nitrous oxide trip .” Look I dunno the connection here but something about you had a feel of name Sarika , may be your eyes which are brown and bright” I said looking into her eyes for the first time in conversation not loosing the smile on my lips . She closed her eyes getting dizzy from laughing and just patted on the bag which looked like a Louis Vitton but was not “ guess wat ? you are funny ”. she said looking at me .
I looked at the third person sharing the seat on the bus , he was fast asleep and snoring by the time . “i'm sure , i'm not “ i said with a smile reflecting wit and my finger pointed towards the snoring Person.” Btw He's his highness George X1 sleeping in the glory of his kingdom” i announced like im some P.A of this person . I was again sucessful in raising her cheek bones to a smile.

“ My self Tinkii Tsering, and i'm a Tibetean Buddhist so that you don't have to raise eyebrows on my name “ She said forwarding a warm hand for introduction .
“ And i'm Mr. Oh So impressed and an Indian Aethist , ppl call me Atharv for simplicity “ i said marking a moment of humour and warmth. That was the first time i first felt warmth of her hand.

It was still raining and my hands were numb .With the numb hands i took out some coins from pocket for the chaiwallah and asked for an ultra milds and one adrak chai , thinking something may comfort the numbness , i wished it really could.


P.S cliche` all characters and situations in the story are fictious and have no resemblance to any one dead or alive or zombie .