Sunday, August 20, 2006

Punjabi by Nature!

Last night I went to this restaurant, Pind Balluchi with my mom and my younger brother.
I had been there before and faintly remembered that the food served is good. But that's all to the memories I had of that place!
This time things were to be a bit different...

After waiting for about 5 minutes, we were given a table. It was furnished with 4 steel glasses, accompanied by a set of 3 bowls bearing achaar, sirke wale pyaaz and hari chutney and a glass half filled with water, and stuffed with green chillies up to the rim!

The decor of the restaurant was true to its name, ethnic Punjabi ishtyle!
As my eyes moved around the place, trying to assimilate what it had to offer, a waiter, dressed in a pathani kurta pyajama, with a jacket over it, came over to take the order.

"We'll have Dal Makhani, Butter Paneer Masala and Aloo Gobhi, with Pudina Parantha and Butter Naan, and lachha pyaaz!", I said.
A minute later, another waiter, in a similar attire, laid out huge steel thalis with 3 steel katoris in each, on our table.

As we sat there waiting for the food, people all around, were chit chatting, not very loud though, but enough to enliven the surroundings.
We could hear a collection of Punjabi songs, with the likes of "Gur nalon ishq mitha" n "Dhol jageeron da", playing in the background. I have never really enjoyed listening to such songs, except when they are played in the weddings or in the parties otherwise, but that very moment, I found myself in rapture!
I smiled and looked towards my brother; he smiled back too! Apparently, he felt the same...

For a while, I thought I was there, in the land of 5 rivers. I could smell that earth.
I felt as if there is a group of people at some distance, dancing to the tunes of those songs. I wanted to stand up and shake a leg with them.

Just then, the waiter came back with the food that we had ordered. The food was yum!
It tasted better than the last time. Mum 'n' bro were pleased too!
Once we had eaten to our hearts full, the waiter got us some gur 'n' saunf. That amazing feeling continued to surround me...
We paid the bill with a handsome tip!

As soon as we stepped out of the restaurant, my brother started speaking in Punjabi, not very fluent though, but at least it helped to keep that feeling alive.
We drove to Giani's for an ice-cream on our way back home, to add on to the "being-punjabi" feeling that we were smitten over by!

An awesome night with my favourite people around and that special feeling throughout, I had the time of my life!
Haddippaaa!!! :D

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

On A Day Like Today...

Budged by the buzz of the alarm, he tries to open his eyes to welcome another day.
It's 5.45 am on the clock, so he opts for a short nap...15 minutes past, another alarm, loud enough to wake him up; it's his mom standing beside his bed...

His back's hurting, eye-lids defying to succumb to such an early start, he doesn't wanna get up, but he got no option! He finishes with his ablutions and is ready to move out in time, only just! He runs to board his office cab, tryin' his best not to offend the annoying cab driver, who always has an eye on the watch and is on the look out for a moment to nag! But alas, he fails again!

He settles comfortably in the backseat, the driver switches on the a.c., and off they go!
The cab stops at regular intervals for a few more colleagues to board. In the meantime, he has his iPod on, and in no time, he dozes off...
Half an hour later, a long halt... He wakes to realise that he's reached his workplace!
He gets off the cab, walks up the staircase to the first floor, flashes his access card at the door and enters what is going to be his world for the next 9 hours!

After a series of exchanges of "Hi's" and "How are you?'s", he heads for his cubicle, switches on his PC, logs in to all sorts of messengers, community websites and email accounts, except for the Microsoft Outlook, which he tends to forget, more often than not, and which unfortunately happens to be the most important one in any office! (in his too!)

His empty stomach calls for a feed, so he, alongwith a couple of friends, marches towards the cafeteria for breakfast. The menu is dull enough to kill half his appetite, still he picks up a sandwich for the moment and a cup of tea to go with it. After about 40-odd minutes there, he is back on his chair, all set to start with the day's work.

But then, he doesn't know what to do. As a matter of fact, there isn't anything to do!
So he traverses the list of friends on all the messengers to search for someone who's as idle as he is. Here he is fortunate enough to have a pool of "resources" to choose from!

After whiling away a lot of time in this activity, he overhears some people talking about some company news which he isn't aware of and after brooding over it for a while, he realises that he hasn't yet opened the all too important Microsoft Outlook on his machine!
In the midst of overwhelmingly large number of crappy forwarded mails sent by almost every member of the software engineers' community, he finds the desperately sought-after piece of information!

Alongwith these, he happens to find a mail from his client, quite important to say the least!
But just then, he sees the right bottom corner of the screen which says 1 p.m. - lunch time!
And so the client shall wait...atleast for an hour!
Another trip to the cafeteria, another disappointment; the lunch menu gets worse every day! But atleast he manges to eat up another 60 minutes!

Back again, he's too lazy to start working right away. He decides to play some good music to keep him alive. Some Creed, Pearl Jam and Zero to revive his senses!
Now he's ready to work again, but then there is no work. Oh no, there's a client mail to reply to, but it can wait again; the client is in US, so it doesn't matter if he replies now or two hours later; he won't be appreciated for a prompt reply anyway!

So he starts writing a new post on his blog; a relatively new interest that he has developed, and is enjoying it for the very fact that atleast something's keeping him busy!

Done with that, he still has about 90 minutes to piddle away! Tired of being in the small enclosure for so long now, he moves out for a stroll. After disturbing some people here 'n' there, he buys a cup of noodles from the cafeteria and is back to his seat, for the last 30 minutes of the business day!

Finally, a click on the "Reply" tab, 3-4 lines of gratifying crap for the client, with a glaze wrapper of "thanks n regards", there goes the mail! It's time to wind up for the day!
A series of "Goodbye's" all around, a flash of the card at the door, he heads for his cab, waiting in the parking lot. The first sight of the pale white Tata Sumo pisses him off; the front seat is already occupied! Left with no option, he settles in the backseat, waiting for the others.

After a 75 minute journey, through the crests 'n' troughs spread all over the city roads and a shitty long stoppage at a railway crossing, he's home again!

Physically deformed and mentally exhausted, he collapses on the bed.
The concerned mother gets him something to eat, which he happily hogs on! He switches on the television to find that there's nothing that interests him, except for glimpses of a few hot females in some music videos.(Rakhi Sawant isn't one of them!)

He soon gets bored and turns off the TV. He's tired. The day is almost over.
He lays still on the bed, eyes half open, thinking about the day gone by.
What did he do? What could he have done? And more importantly, what should he have done?
Following a serious introspection, he dozes off to dream about a better tomorrow, a day that will not be the same as today, a day to remember, a day of no remorse...

A buzz of the alarm wakes him to reality... He remembers what he had dreamt of.
He wants his dream to be real, but he couldn't break the routine! The same set of activities to start the day, turns him off. He gives in. And the hope for a better day fades away...

He's listening to Pink Floyd on his iPod... He has become comfortably numb!