Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Bisibele Baath Diaries

Another brief tryst with the Garden City’s most wondrous weather had come to an end and with that, my three-week-long sabbatical from the World Wide Web. Gmail was to greet me back with a little under hundred unread e-mails, and perusing through them clearly wasn’t on my priority list as I hugged Big B, wishing him on his 23rd birthday. Ma had carefully chosen and helped decorate the cake- a delicious-looking chocolate delight- and a short visit with her to Big B’s treat at Cafe Coffee Day revealed there was one more cake waiting to be devoured, thanks to TV Didi and Rachel. And, like bad luck, good fortune tends to stream in continuously- it was another chocolate cake, with both being from two of the three best chocolate pastry-making bakeries in town! My teeth’s health and their monthly check-up by Big B could take a backseat- it’d been exactly a score days since I’d had good food, and I was not going to let up. A Chocó-latte, too, was gulped down greedily in the meantime. I’d ordered that for a reason...

After a squalidly dry first week, the in-plant training kicked in to work mode, with regular morning presentations and afternoons spent reading about or configuring devices. I was ordered to buy another phone by Ma and Pa, and I reluctantly bought a threadbare Nokia- the one with the Hindi SMSing and the flashlight. And Snake. I quickly rediscovered my touch and started racking up mammoth scores. That, and the free local and national SMSing kept me busy enough till dinner, a task I somehow got through every night at the paying guest accommodation where I’d put up. The mornings at the office were to get better, too. On our second day into the second week, a routine conversation with our on-site guide revealed the coffee machine was open to us as well. More significantly- for free. We strutted in awkwardly the first time, looking to see if other employees weren’t giving us curious glares- they didn’t seem like they’d be bothered unless we were big white ghouls with a sickle in one hand and a hook for another. The overwhelming aroma of coffee beans had me hooked in a trifle. The first button I pressed was espresso, to clear my perennial confusion over which of that and cappuccino was black coffee. After quickly throwing that cup of espresso- it being black coffee- I pressed the cappuccino button, and even though I messed up on the amount of sugar I needed, Cafe Coffee Day’s impeccable mix even through a programmed machine left me begging for more. From then on, we needn’t an excuse for heading off to the pantry room, where rested that amazing little contraption. Cappuccino, elaichi tea, ginger tea, masala tea and classic tea were all duly tried and tested. Although cappuccino won a few battles, the war was decisively taken by the latte- the delectable mixture of milk and chocolate, with the almost-ubiquitous tinge of coffee, all served neatly in a cup only a few inches high, with a carefully measured spoon of sugar- just perfect.

While the first weekend was positively squandered doing nothing, the next was spent with an old monk, Rapu, in Bengaluru’s most famous mall. Although the fairer gender left us squarely disappointed, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine didn’t, even when the entire movie was made to rest on his shoulders alone. Lunch at a beautifully designed North Indian restaurant, and (yet another) coffee at CCD, and I was off to the city’s outskirts again in those breezy air-conditioned buses that glide through the city roads. Although there was a television at the PG, it was shared and that meant I was only to hum random Kannada songs, when not chatting with the two interns from DCE who were also staying there.

Back home, the first thing that caught my eye on the TV’s programme list was the return of The Championships, and I found myself ooh-ing and aah-ing at the sight of the lush green tennis courts at SW19, London. The state-of-the-art retractable roof notwithstanding, the air of tradition wafted all the way through to my couch, as I gazed like an eight-year-old, in amazement. Alan Wilkins and Vijay Amritraj’s voices were a relief after the drab Rolland Garros coverage, but despite this beautiful sojourn through the various courts at Wimbledon, just one thing seemed missing- the one thing that those most wonderful articles in The Hindu had described assiduously. The next evening was to see that culminating at Centre Court- His Royal Highness Roger Federer, prancing like a freed gazelle. Now, some who may have watched tennis with me may think I’m not a Federer fan and am thus, now being a hypocrite. The only reason I supported Nadal through the Australian Open and other tournaments, is that I felt he was the one who could bring the latent best- yes, even more- from the champion, that He needed a thorn in the flesh to bloom further, a loss’ bitter pill to make that one elusive victory that much sweeter. The French Open triumph has brought back the FedEx, who almost effortlessly, almost carelessly brushed aside the competition to equal Bjorn Borg’s once-impossible record at the greatest stage of ‘em all. Watching Him thwack forehands wide, snuff those once-pristine backhands, and grimace in agony at those double-faults was painful, and to see Him recover from that, and come back to play the divine tennis that we worship Him for, is precisely what sport is all about.

I bow to The King.

P.S. - A little fiasco involving a long-overdue recommendation letter had me bunking office for two days. I got to complete my intern only because of Pa, Musit and Tiwari ji. A big thank-you to you all.

P.P.S. - By the bye, the prettiest lady I encountered during the entire duration turned out to be in the office all along. Although one of my comrades flirted openly with her, leaving us staring open-mouthed one time and throwing punches another, the idiots that we were, she was the only company employee whose card we didn’t take. Sigh.


Anonymous said...

I am watching Murray make hard work of a fairly simple fixture against Wawrinka. I simply can't picture Federer losing it from here on.

And you rooted for Nadal at the Australian Open? How could you??

Incomprehensible Idiot. Eternal Dreamer. Talkative Toon. Murty. said...

@ Dile

The British never realise that their cheering actually curses their players further. Look how wonderfully their cricket and rugby teams did when there was no hope.

And you idiot. I was watching the final right between you and AP, and explained this entire thing to you right then. Well, if you hadn't forgotten you'd have read something you knew already, so in a way, good thing you forgot. That doesn't mean you're not an idiot.

Saagar said...

During my internship(s), I used to make frequent sojourns at the coffee machine too. But that was to secretly devour packets of milk powder. Coffee also, but occasionally.

Anirudh Arun said...

So I gather this machine was much the same we found at the Reading Room and associated places! Anyway, I'm sorry the fairer gender left you 'disappointed'... But what exactly were you expecting?

I don't believe you'd root for an enemy in order to bring out the best in your hero though!

Shrey Banga said...

During my intern we had a couple of coffee machines which, in my humble opinion, could kick CCD's ass any day. All this talk about Bangalore makes me nostalgic especially when I'm once again running around a city south of the Sanity Line trying to get a roof over my head.
There seem to be lots of females in the D company but only tomorrow will tell if my service line has some of those.

Incomprehensible Idiot. Eternal Dreamer. Talkative Toon. Murty. said...

@ Lefty

Ah! The flirtatious comrade was quite adamant on flicking a few elaichi tea-bags, too. If I had my way, I'd have chucked the entire machine out!

@ Kondy (of the near future)

Well, not exactly. For one, it smelt good. For another, it had a big bunch of coffee beans showing. And, most significantly, it consistently churned out brilliant coffee.

@ Bang Bang

I'm not a huge fan of CCD, either, but that coffee machine was class. Anyhoo, hope Hyderabad treats you well. And with full respect, don't fall into the Deccan Chronicle's trap if you wish to remain sane (or insane; basically, wish to remain the same).

Chronoz said...

I was and am a huge Pete Samprass fan. I was heart broken when Fedex beat Soderling last time around and am really praying that Murray gets the better of him this time...

There's nothing,absolutely nothing, that beats a hot cup of Maddu filter kapi in the mornings. That and the 3000 free messages per month i'll miss when I return.

Incomprehensible Idiot. Eternal Dreamer. Talkative Toon. Murty. said...

@ Shreyas

Hmmm... I was always one for Andre Agassi, even though I adored Pistol Pete's clasasy backhand. I've always fallen for single-fisted backhands (as I use one myself). Maybe that's why I've never really liked any woman playing tennis after Justine Henin retired (prematurely).

Vikesh said...

Okay! Just because there is no CCD near my place, you think you've got the liberty to post something as mouth-watering-ly delicious and insanely tempting as this?

Btw, what's your highest score in Snake? :)

Incomprehensible Idiot. Eternal Dreamer. Talkative Toon. Murty. said...

@ Mr. Khanna

The CCD is less than half an hour away- what're you cribbing about? And Snake Xenjia is boring- the snake stops growing beyond a point, so it becomes a matter of patience. I got to 9.6k once, but the highest is now 18k.