A few days ago, my friend and I went to the local Best Buy for some window shopping. While my friend was busy checking out tablets, I headed to the music section and stopped in front of the Bose kiosk. I tapped the buttons, took the tour of the various systems, and admired the sound – clear, loud notes that you can only experience but not describe.
And as I stood there thinking, I was suddenly transported back in time.
In early 2004, I worked in Talawade – an industrial area outside Nigdi, hardly 20km away from Pune. Talawade is the local mecca for small-scale manufacturers, and is filled with tiny workshops interspersed with larger factories. If you approach Talawade from Nigdi, the road finally comes to a dead end, and then you either turn right towards Bhosari, or left towards Dehu Road.
Just around this corner, there was (is?) a small joint about 100 feet away from the tarmac. Trucks lined the empty space in front of it, and in the rainy seasons you had to watch your step while going in. From the road, it appeared to be just another dhaba, but as you walked closer, your senses were pleasantly assaulted – the smell of dal fry and the tandoor lingered in the air, truck drivers’ chit-chat was all around, and waiters scurried around attending to the patrons.
The owner sat in a corner, keeping an eye on the proceedings, and next to him was a small portable stereo. It was connected to two speakers installed in the rafters, and it belted out hits from the 70s through the early 90s. The speakers were tinny, and the songs were always scratchy – no bass and hardly any “body” to the songs. But whenever a song ended, we would inadvertently stop chatting in anticipation of the next one.
Most of the times, you would get to hear classics from the likes of QSQT, Aashiqui and Hero, but once in a while the owner would switch gears and treat us to Kishore Kumar or even Gulzaar. Lunch would get over in about 25 min, but we would stay for longer. We would leave an hour after reaching the dhaba – stomachs gorged on dal-roti and mind sated with great music.
About five years ago, I had a different blog. It was titled “Good Reads”, and in it I would post links of interest – news, views, opinions, even entertaining stuff. Anything that you wouldn’t mind spending 15 minutes to read.
And then one day I stopped posting. I don’t remember the specifics, but as far as my memory serves me, it was not a conscious decision.
But now, I think I’ll start that practice again – hunting for good articles on the internet. And this time, instead of just posting them on a blog, I think I will simply email them to specific people.
Who knows, it just might help me keep in touch with my friends too?
Here in the US, the fastest way of getting any social interaction is to invite people over for dinner. In our apartment complex’s “Indian Community” there’s at least one such formal dinner every week – with someone or the other inviting someone else. So far, we have been invited to 3 of our friends’ homes, and we have in turn invited people four times. Prudence (and societal niceties) demand that no one be left out, and everyone invite everyone else at least once (and an equal number of times if more than once).
Tonight, two of my colleagues are coming over to our place for dinner. We planned the menu a week in advance, and my wife has spent most of yesterday and today fixing up everything. 30 minutes from now, the doorbell will ring and our house will be full of chit-chat and laughter for the next three hours.
Except that I won’t be there to share this with my wife (and be with her in case there are any sour vibes).
Today one of my projects was supposed to go live to production – at 3PM to be precise. To cut a long story short, there were some hiccups, and here I am – sitting with the technical team that’s trying to fix things up. I have had three phone calls to home in the last few hours, and although my wife is very supportive and understands that I need to be here – I know that we both want to be together right now.
As I write this, two of my colleagues just let out a small cheer and throw their hands up in a gesture of victory. Apparently, they have figured the solution out. All that remains now is to document what they have done and write an email to the person who will take the baton from them. Then, we all head home.
It looks like the weekend will be a good one, after all.
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I am not sure why, but today I am feeling very fresh & energetic. Either the weekend refreshed me a bit too much, or the company’s life-force sucking system is not switched on yet. In any case, I’m charged up to take on (almost) anything.
Week, here I come – Monday or not.
While researching what bike to buy, I had considered the Thunderbird, but I didn’t like the silencer; I then settled on the Machismo. However, right when I decided to actually go to the showroom, Royal Enfield released a new model – the 2004 Elektra. The moment I set my eyes on it, I was hooked. The day I took delivery of my bike, I christened her “Kerrigan” (the first name’s Sarah). The best part is, the gears are on the right side – the classic Enfield design.
All too often, people speak to me of this – why did I choose a bike with gears on the “wrong” side. And I reply – hey, it’s your bike that has gears on the wrong side.
And now, that’s what happens when people speak to me of my age. “Hey, you are on the wrong side of 30 now!!” And I reply “No dude, it’s you who is on the wrong side; come and join us.”
Agreed – we wear 80’s style bootcuts & leather jackets; but hey, on the street who gets looked at in admiration? We are like our Bullets – Asphalt Hot, Retro Cool.