Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I am (still) Thirsty

I was getting desperate now. It was past 8 in the morning and I had yet not got my first tea of the day. 

Thankfully, by the grace of Almighty and training of the hospitality industry, I landed unhurt in Lucknow. The hostesses acted as good hosts and my co-passengers were a good sport too. All of them ignored me royally.  

The moment I sat in the pre-paid cab, I ordered the driver to stop at the next best decent tea stall outside the airport. If he was surprised, he didn’t show it. But he surely asked some intruding and personal questions – starting with a very innocent, “bhaiyaji, was not tea available in the airport?” When I did not reply, he went on, “acha bhaiyaji, I have heard they serve beverages on board too. Didn’t they offer you on the flight?” To which I replied, “No, they were not serving today.” This is when he surprised me. He said, “Oh, bhaiyaji, low cost waali se aaye hain?”

Anyways, as we drove out of the airport compound, my cabbie offered to provide his unsolicited advice on the various kinds of tea and tea stalls in and around the airport. I thought to myself, “I have spoken a lot for the morning, now let’s listen for few moments”. He started with his versions, preferences and preparation of tea in permutations and combination of more milk, less water, tea in spoons and measurement on hand etc. I was reminded of my days while staying with friends, when every morning it was by turns that we had to make tea for the group. And surely enough, everyday tea tasted different. 

Just as rose by any other name would smell as sweet, tea by any other hand every morning provided the same pressure, to ease.

Anyhow, back on the road, the cabbie stopped at a decent tea stall, went out and ordered tea. I waited in the cab, listening to songs on the radio. And then it happened. Radio played the song, “pani da rang....”(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLuVYUxRqOg&feature=fvwrel). Barely, had I taken my mind off the almost missed flight, the miss who ignored me and tea I was missing, that it all came rushing back to me. The hostess who finally quenched my thirst was actually a better host…  or let’s put it this way, she was really ho(s)t!

Tea was really nice. The song changed. It was “tip tip barsa pani….”!! Arre, who on earth would want to listen and fantasize a wet Raveen Tandon at such an early morning time? My cabbie sure did. Well, I liked it too. I was reminded of Raveena Tandon, Divya Bharti and the moment the song changed again to “pani pani re…” is when I realized that the ho(s)t resembled Tabu. It then struck me that theme on radio today was water. If water was the theme of the day, I had to control, and I did. Even my family astrologer had strongly advised me to stay away from water. I resolved not to have any wet dreams… eerr…. Fantasies…. eerrr, let’s call them flash back.

No tea, no coffee, no water, no host, nothing hot. There was a certain chill in the air. October was looking fresh and cold. To stay away from water, I decided to avoid bath too. 

In the coming days, there would be enough food for thought to satisfy my hungry mind. And my thirsty eyes were witness to stories, wet and dry, unfolding in the coming days.

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