Category: random

Of rude strangers at coffee shops

Of rude strangers at coffee shops

The other day as I was at a coffee shop with an ex colleague in walked this man. ‘Black coffee with milk on the side,” he tossed out loudly over his shoulder and settled down on one of the sofas with a friend.

A few minutes later we heard raised voices. The man was yelling at the staff – You have NO idea what a black coffee is and you work in a coffee shop!! You bloody f****** Indians . . . . . No don’t call them becharas (poor things). That’s exactly why they do nothing to improve themselves. We’re too soft with them . . . . . . . . DON’T, DON’T say sorry. Save it up for your bosses when they fire you.”

I had my back to the man and I turned to look just as every other customer in the coffee shop. The verbal barrage was vicious and brutal and very loud. It left us stunned and silent. Oh and in case you are wondering he was very much an Indian. I wanted to say something, anything. Something in support of the boy at the counter, anything to stop the man. But I couldn’t. All I could do was throw the rude man a furious look and turn back to my colleague. The man quietened down after a while.

My friend and I continued our conversation that ranged from books and my blog to his job with a newspaper. When my friend got up to go to the counter I heard a 
“What’s your name?” addressed to my back.

It was the rude man. He was alone; his friend had apparently left.
“Why would I tell you?” I asked half turning to him, still infuriated.
“Because I’m a writer too. I write scripts for soaps at Balaji Telefilms.”
I put a mental black strike against television soaps and their writers even as he seemed completely unaware of my reaction. He simply went on to enumerate the soaps he had written and how “people like me” would probably find them boring. For a moment I wondered if it was the same man at all. It really was like he was a different man, like the nasty scene hadn’t happened, or at least as if he wasn’t responsible for that vitriolic attack.
I was too outraged to get into a conversation with him. I nodded/shook my head dismissively as my friend returned to the table. Then finally when we were leaving he called out a ‘God Bless You’ from his corner!!
I am still stunned at this volte-face. Did he not realise how rude he had been? Did the boy at the counter not matter to him at all? Or did he think as a ‘creative person’ or a minor celebrity he had the right to ‘mood swings’? And worse, did he think I condoned his outburst?
Most definitely, yes!

What irked me even more was my reaction. I wish I had made my displeasure obvious. I could have asked him to keep his voice down while he was shouting. I could have completely ignored his attempts at a conversation I truly didn’t want to be a part of. Better still, I could have mentioned his earlier outburst.

However, none of this happened.
It was only later that I thought of scores of ways in which I could have expressed my distaste for his behaviour. For many many hours I couldn’t stop thinking of the boy at the coffee shop whose day had probably been ruined. 
Does this ever happen to you – this inability to verbalise your feelings – specially negative ones even though you know you should? How do you react to rude strangers? Would you consider reacting even if the rudeness isn’t directed at you? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Good morning

Good morning

Early mornings are so not my thing..
We’re in Goa and The husband got the strange idea of watching the sun rise from the sea… Yeah I know, it would be a wonderful sight, but the catch is one has to wake up before the sun.. On a holiday… Why that’s blasphemy!
But so contagious was The Husband’s enthusiasm that we did wake up – at five. And then it started to pour!!!!!! The ever accommodating Husband promptly collected the kids, snuggled together and three of them went back to sleep.
There I was on my own with no desire to get back to bed. Silently berating The Husband for his weird plans I wondered what to do with myself. I reached out for the I-pad to find it needed charging. I sighed. The ticking of the clock seemed unusually loud. Listlessly I wandered around our resort suite. How come it’s so small? I wondered. It had seemed so roomy when we arrived.
I walked out onto the tiny balcony and instantly felt better.. The warm, balmy, rainy breeze felt much more friendly than the artificial cool of the AC. It was quiet but for the rain. Even the birds were asleep.
I watched in the hazy light as the rain left fleeting imprints on the surface of the pool.
I watched as the water splashed off shiny leaves that glinted even in the semidarkness of dawn. It slid silently off deck chairs, off the concrete tortoises at the pool and the red tiled roofs.
I watched as a conscientious worker came out in a raincoat and began to clean the pool.
I watched as the sun, dulled gently by the clouds, showed up far in the East and spread silently all around.
I watched…….. Enjoying.. Yeah enjoying, as the peace of the moment stole over me.
I might have missed the sunrise but I did catch the morning. Maybe I should do this again – this early morning thing!
Blog-Prompt Day 3 – Monday

Blog-Prompt Day 3 – Monday

Me: Hey there Good Morning Monday.

Monday (Stumbling out of deep slumber): What? What? Is it my turn already?

Me: Hey No, relax, it’s just Wednesday.

Monday (Falling back on his bed and sounding very annoyed): What are you doing then, waking me up? Can’t a person have some peace even on off days?

Me: Oops sorry there. It’s just that I had to turn in a piece on you and I thought I’d get an interview. All I found online were loads of caricatures saying nasty things about you. I thought I’d get your perspective on this whole Monday Blues, Manic Monday thing.

Monday: You think I’m an idiot? I’m no celeb and I know it? I know your journo type too. You’ll pretend to be all nice and fair and I-want-your-side-of-the-story, all Oprahish. Then you’ll go out and turn into a rabid reporter and write a sarcy, nasty piece. You know how people get a starlet to deny an affair and then put the ‘just friends’ in quotes like this. So no Thank You. I’m good.

Me: You’ve got it all wrong. Trust me. I’m a friend. For the record I’m not a Monday hater. Never have been. Journalists work in shifts. So Mondays aren’t Mondays at all, if you get what I mean. I’m the most neutral person you’re ever likely to get to tell your story.

Monday (Disappearing back under the sheets): Story? I have no story to tell. Nighty night.

Me: Come on Monday. Don’t get all cynical.

Monday (Emerging from the covers): Oh alright since I’m awake anyway, fire away.

Me: Thanks thanks Mon.. may I call you Mon? So Mon you seem to be the most universally hated day of the week. How do you feel?

Mon (Smirking): YOU ARE ORIGINAL! Really the journo type – the type that thrusts a mike in the face of a
man stuck in a manhole and asks him, “So Sir how do you feel?” HOW DO I FEEL???? For Godsake how would YOU feel? How would ANYONE feel? Being maligned for no reason at all. Had it not been for me would anything get done anywhere in the world? Is it my fault that people refuse to give up their bingeing and partying even after two whole days and nights and are then hung over all of me? Is it my fault that the funnest days come right before me? How would you feel when Saturday and Sunday strut about right
behind you with their “We’re the most popular days” faces? And you know the irony? No one would even look at them had it not been for me. So much for their lording it over the rest of us! But do I tell them that? No Sir, I do not. Like I said, I’m a peaceful guy. I do my day’s worth and then snuggle up and sleep.

Me: So you think people have been unfair to you?

Mon: Of course they’ve been unfair. But then life, my friend is unfair. Being in a place like mine, turns a guy philosophical. God made us all the same. It’s man who turned us into Fun Fridays and Monster Mondays. Did I tell you to work like Zombies without stopping to enjoy yourself? Is it my fault you get yourselves caught in jobs you hate?

Me: So what advice would you like to give our readers?

Mon: I’m not one for advising anyone. All I’ll say is STOP THE HATE. Give yourself a break if you want to, even if it’s a Monday. Then get back to work. How about reserving one happy thing for a Monday? Make it a Memorable Monday or a Merry Monday.. will you? Love your job and you’ll find you love me too.

And now may I just go back to bed?

That, dear readers, was ‘Monday’ for you. I’m off for a cup of tea to make my Monday special. You take a break too. Have a good week.

And so the vacations begin

And so the vacations begin

It was the last day of school today for the kids and I have been scrambling around getting things done, things I’ll never get around to doing with the kids at home. The most important one.. cleaning their room. When they’re home they don’t let me discard anything, anything at all.

Here’s what I found..

Pop-up ABCD books
Mutilated barbies
Holey footballs
Bits of thermacol
Cardboard boxes
Broken tiles
Bottles filled with powdered chalk
A stash of empty homeopathic medicine bottles
Pages and pages and pages of drawings

Whew.. there’s something so satisfying about decluttering. Yet I’m left with the feeling that I could have discarded at least twice as much.

Then there was the long postponed visit to the parlour where I got a hair cut so short (despite the kind lady’s warning) that I’m feeling like a shorn sheep and looking like one too. Thank God for kind friends and relatives who’ve been sending reassuring messages on WhatsApp and BBM.
Comments have ranged from ..

You look pretty : Naisha and Hrit (Awww.. )
You look younger: A dear friend
It’ll grow back: An honest friend
‘Different’ but nice: The sister
Don’t worry, it’ll be okay once you wash off the blowdry: The SIL
Hmmm.. you had a hair cut. : That cryptic one came from The Husband

Tomorrow I go for a long overdue health checkup, my first ever, where I’m sure the doc’s going to tell me to lose weight… as if I need telling.

What have you lined up for the weekend?

A ‘scarepigeon’

A ‘scarepigeon’

Some time back I was reading this post at momofrs’ and it so resonated with me I thought I must do one of my own on pigeons. Actually I too have nothing against these bird brained birds. I totally respect their freedom to fly where they want, sit where they want and poop where they want. What I do mind is that they do not respect the ‘Your freedom ends when my nose begins’ thing. An open window is enough invitation. Try to shoo them out and they panic crazily enough to make you panic too. They then lose all sense of direction, get totally lost and proceed to mess up your entire room.

What’s more they walk all over the balcony, hop into freshly watered pots, then leave messy footprints everywhere. They feed on your fast depleting Tulsi plant and denude it by carrying away twigs leaving one to stare at empty planters. A sad task for someone already cursed with a black thumb.

Then they go and lay eggs with abandon and if you as much as go near them while clearing up the balcony they never come back. Then you have to deal with the maid’s accusing glances for ages for having murdered those baby pigeons, which BTW are called ‘squabs’. Plus you have to deal with the ‘paap’ of having a wrecked a family and NO you do not get to share the blame with the squabs’ parents who are brave enough to come mess your balcony the very same day yet don’t spare a thought for their abandoned progeny. Nope they’re not responsible.. you are. Oh the unfairness of it all!!

Anyway, the other day I was complaining yet again and the kids decided to make a scarecrow…um.. ‘scarepigeon’.

Two sticks were sourced from the garden, tied
together and a paper face cut out

Hrit spared an old shirt and the man’s ready to
guard my Tulsi plant. BTW he’s holding a sword.
Dare you come now pigeons!!

 Wierd as it looks it served it’s purpose… the pigeons are keeping their distance.

On my other blog: Beat About The Book

Unfinished #BookReview

Unfinished #BookReview

Priyanka, with her grit and her determination, as also her ability to stand up to all kinds of trolling and bullying, has always been inspirational. Everything about her seems to spell, ‘Say what you will, I’ll do my own thing’. To me, that’s the greatest kind of freedom anyone can ever aspire for. And that’s what prompted me to pick up her biography.