At a local wine shop
It was Sunday evening and all of them had some company, be it dog or TV or anything for that matter. I had only my loneliness and suddenly I heard something ringing, it was the telephone. My brother picks it up after some 6 rings, who was waiting for me to pick it up.”Munnaaa”, he shouted and gave me looks as if he already knew that the call was for me.”Salaam waaliqum”, a very manly voice and the words made me feel as if some gangster has called.
I replied, “Waaliqum salaam”, which came out so instantly as if I was from a perfect muslim background. Neither him nor me were muslims but had decided to adopt to a common culture to greet eachother and with 9/11 being the hot topic we did not have anything better to freeze on.
“Good that you called.Its been ages since I have stepped out of my house.”, not letting him utter a word and I indirectly told him lets meet up. Come over were the only words he spoke and both of us knew the plan and how the evening was gonna be. I did not want to waste even a single second and even before my brother could tell that he needs the bike I was on my way to Abhishek’s home.
I accelerated my bike as I approached the main gate of the VSNL Quarters, passed the security guards who tried to figure out whether I was an outsider or an insider. I was very confident that the lift was not working and on my way I had already prepared myself to climb seven floors. The door opened even before I rang the bell and Abhishek was all ready.
We came down by the lift which was repaired only that morning and decided to walk to the nearby wine shop.”Quarter XXX”, Abhishek said, offering the 100 rupee note to the man at the counter. The wine shop was the most local of all with not even a proper roof and in a place where some 7 or 8 people can stand some 30 people were standing and enjoying their drinks. We knew there was some place upstairs where we can sit and drink but even that was occupied to the fullest. Finally we decide to stand somewhere near the entrance and drink.
“Cheers”, came out in chorus after he finished making both the pegs, an art which he had mastered very long time back. As we sipped, we talked about the usual stuff and suddenly with my lips kissing my glass refused part even after the last drop had happily reached deep into my stomach. There were some 25 people with glass in each hand and all of them were gazing in one direction.
“One Kingfisher”, asked the guy who was accompanied by two other people. He was tall, actually very tall, some 40 years old and he was an English man. With him was another old guy and his young wife. The lady was really very beautiful and people were looking at her as if she was the only lady on this earth.”Come we’ll sit up”, said the young to old.
“There’s no place”, Abhishek replied, even before they could go and find out for themselves. Three people and one beer, I was confused but soon realised that they were going to share, I soon went and got glasses for them and offered them to join us. The couple were in their own world chatting and sipping, but the other guy was a real sport and joined us.
“Where are you from?”, I asked
“We are British Airways crew members and our accomodation is in Taj Coromandel.”
“I thought Taj had a very nice Bar, then why here?”, Abhishek asked the question which I was about to ask.”That sucks man”, the guy replied making faces indicating the last place he would like to go to. Behind him the lady told her husband that they should leave as she was really very uncomfortable and also she did not like the beer.
“Inside that five star bar we dont find people like you to interact with. In there, we have to talk among ourselves. We cannot talk to people.”,the smart chap replied finishing his glass of beer.
“One full rum”, ordered our man throwing the five hundred rupees note on the counter and he never bothered to pick the change. “This is for the night”, he answered reading the question on our faces .
The couple left their glasses without finishing and all three of them left for dinner at copper chimney.
We finished our drink, came out and started searching for another local place for our dinner.
Entry filed under: Short n Sweet.