Monday, January 05, 2009

Aadi Sutripti

After a hard and frustrating day at work, at the end of which you aren't sure if you will be able to meet the month's target, a cup of tea can stem your suicidal thoughts. But at Aadi Sutripti, you can let your first cup linger for a maximum of 30 minutes, after which the waiter is gonna hound you. What else? Is that all? Are you gonna leave now? Do you wanna order something else? In 96, even an extra cup of tea pinched. But we had to spend some more time, to have futile discussions about how to get into better paid jobs, about how to save enough for a life together. Not a big, fat Indian wedding, but something good enough to convince our parents that we can survive on our own. Right then, we couldn't. The next cups of tea came, but the waiter was not gonna allow us another 30 minutes. Scheme. Sacrifice the next day's money today and buy some more time. To hear each other's frustrations reflect off square cups and saucers.

Some days, when I could sell, we treated ourselves to Moglai Parotas. But the waiter still had the same disdain on his face as if we were unwanted filth on borrowed time.

I went back this time with a good mind to order ten Moglai Parotas and nibble a little from each...and perhaps spend the entire day just giving back all that disdain to the waiter.

He just wasn't there after 13 years and nobody could recollect him from my description. I didn't have his name. Thinking how much he earned then and what could have happened to him now, the acerbity suddenly vanished and gave way to a strange worry for an unknown man.

Was it Kolkata, or am I being dramatic? Someday, we have to give back that city all that we stole from it.


Lazyani said...

Yes, dear. I share the same sentiments though I haven't left the city.
All those stolen moments at similar joints like Regent, Rallis, Parijat, Bonophool,etc. formed the root of whatever little I have achieved today. Those moments of hectic planning with struggling friends made me learn more about time management, pressure handling, peer support, team work and financial planning than all my MBA classes.

Gargi Dixit said...

Was it Kolkata, or am I being dramatic? Someday, we have to give back that city all that we stole from it.

What ever you "took" from the city, was raw material. use your mind and make something valuable out of it, and the entire city will get the price backpayed to it by itself.


Pinku said...

that was lovely nostalgia at its very best.

I am assuming you sold enough to not only eat moglai parathas more often but to marry as well.

Giving back to Kolkata is a very difficult an old man it wants to share its riches but looks at the young trying to offer something with a bit of disdain and a lot of injured pride.

Puzzled Private said...

Amazing mate.. I wholly & fully agree..

I remember the Mukti-da in Tower Hotel - a small shady mens bar perched high above the Sealdah flyover, hanging ever so precariously from the crumbling top of a very old bulding that had a Dockyards look. Mukti-da must have been single handedly responsible for 738 cases of diagnosed Liver Sclerosis in the city!

And the Dadu at Tripti's - an equally shady place in Jadu Babur bazar. Dadu gave a decent fight to Mukti for that coveted top slot of causing Liver disorders - until he was retired on account of his failing health and scaling BP.

The underlying commonality in all these stories is the shadiness of all the places - at a time when 45 bucks (for a Dansberg) was worth killing for. I have hopped a couple of years from your story - though things didn't change much anyway.

Anonymous said...

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Oreen said...

i did sell enough to get married later... in fact i had to sell all my tattered briefs and do a full monty in Saturday Club even before the movie Full Monty was made.

that gave me a nice platform to move on in life . . . things have changed since. i can afford to stay mostly clothed.

Mampi said...

Where were we when you did that Full Monty?

Oreen said...

i still do private shows!

and for some people it is complimentary... :-DDDDDDDD