beingdesh

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Category: Memoirs, stories, and poems (page 2 of 11)

Recalling Indian Coffee House

I am a frequent visitor to the multiple coffee shops in Mumbai. During these visits I have developed a special affection for the filter coffee joints at Matunga, and a growing admiration for the multiple homegrown and international brands setting shop in the city. But for me, and many more like me, coffee had humble beginnings. Sometime it was the whisked, often cardamom-flavored home made Nescafe, or the shake-shake-shake blue plastic shaker mixed cold coffee, or the tongue-tingling espresso served at weddings. But none of the experiences have left a deeper impression on my memory than the turban-clad waiters of the Indian Coffee House. And more than the Coffee, this note is about the institution which will always remind me of the word Coffee.

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The Shimla Affair – Chapter II

Continued from Part I

Slowly and steadily the flavors of Shimla were building on me, or probably building a better me. The daily dose of the forgettable Kadhi, the ever so delightful daal, and ghee-moistened rotis served by those beautiful long slender fingers were adding a new dimension to my life. One beyond infatuation, adding a slight crispiness to romantic fascinations of  teenage years, and semi-serious indulgences of recent times. It was a 70s movie refashioned for present day consumption, Engineer guy arrives from big city, falls for a Pahadi girl while working on a dam project, impregnates her on “that” lightening-struck, stormy evening, overcomes all difficulties and lives happily ever after. The story was slightly different though, I wasn’t working on any dam project, there were no song and dance routines, I had hardly touched her, and yes the biggest thing, I had never talked to her.

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किम्कर्त्व्यविमुढ

सब कुछ  था स्थिर, अविचलित, शांत सा,
अचानक से इस दुविधा ने लाया एक बवंडर सा।

क्या करे क्या ना करे के दोराहे पर मैं हु खड़ा,
असमंजस से जूझता, पर इरादों पर अड़ा।

इस पार है निराशा, उस पार आशा की किरण,
बीच मझदार का सफ़र है, जिस पर तय होगा जीवन-मरण।

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The Shimla Affair – Chapter I

I hadn’t realized how close we were to our hostel. I looked at my watch, it was around 7:30 PM, but it felt like it was 11 already. The Shiv Temple which stood brightly shining in the morning sunlight looked a bit dull now. The only shops which seemed busy were the two liquor stores selling Desi Liquor. Kasumpti tends to be this way, much more humbler compared to the happenings at the mall. And even colder. Actually the hunger made me feel extremely cold.

I spotted a few eateries, a set of shady ones serving gas inducing pulses and cold flaky jalebis. I just entered one of them, followed sheepishly by my friend, who had been busy talking to a series of brain-dead girls since an hour, or so I assume.

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A Very Long Walk to Freedom

There is a continuous buzz in my ear, but I neglect that and keep running. I see him clearly, the colors are crystal clear, Hi Definition, and beautifully bright, even in the pitch black darkness of night. I can see the rolling ball at his feet, about to leave them, but still hesitant, like a first-time school going kid. I can’t see him now, I can just see the ball as it starts curling towards me, wait curling away from me! I dive and snatch it out of the sweaty, seafood-smelling air. I stopped a certain goal. But now it is my head which is curling.

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