Supposedly, according to newspapers, I've turned overnight into a mascot for hot steamy dosas, gooey chutneys and probably mundu-barechested-bald-headed-heavy-poonal-wearing middle aged sambhar-burping vegetarian men too. But justice must be done, and truth they say, rears its head sooner or later. Hence, I begin.

Our TRUE story begins not-very-long-long ago, not-very-far-far away, in this sleepy town called Trivandrum, home to an Engineering College (well, lots of them, to be precise) and also to a very screwed up species of homo sapiens named Reporters.

A warm afternoon, sometime like a week or so before the exams I think.. This guy, lets call him A, working for a (lead) newspaper, calls up. He's working on some column where he, among other equally boring things, describes places where college students hang out, and have food. Fair enough.

The bloke wanted to ask me a couple of questions on where we usually chose to satisfy our growling tummies. The first thing he asks is,
"How is your canteen.. Does it have good stuff?"

Now, no person who has done his graduation in a college in tvm will ever think of his canteen with anything except disgust. I kept a straight face (he couldn't see it over the phone but anyway..) and told him,
"Well, a lot of ppl do eat at our canteen, but frankly, the food there is boring. So most of us, when we dont bring lunch, choose to eat elsewhere."

A: "so what other places do u frequent?"

Me: "Well there's this Punjabi dhaba near college, or better, one at Overbridge, called Ramji, where both school buddies and college buddies frequently go. It's really good. Other than that, you have the usual hangout places - CCD, Ambrosia, etc. The usual food they have there is eaten there"

A: "Sri, you're a vegetarian?"

Me: "Yeah, why?"

A: "You eat these dosas and stuff dont u? At these roadside eateries.. thattukadas..."

Me: "Um well lots of ppl do eat there, that's why they're so popular in tvm arent they?"

A: "Alright Sree, give me names and numbers of a few of your friends too (non vegetarian folks I mean).. I'll talk to them, thanks"

I did the needful.
All was peace and quiet. Till a twisted, andwicked piece appeared in the paper. So now, to the world:

1. I seem to adore dosas from roadside eateries and speak orgasmically of dipping them in steamy smokey chutneys.
2. I seem to have (committed the terrible mistake of having) called my canteen food tasty.
3. Horror of horrors, I seem to like SOUTH Indian food at the DHABA.
4. While my friends talked about better (albeit with fantastical names.. yeah he made a lot of that up too) food at seemingly better locations, I have turned out to be the complete jerk who has tasted nothing beyond the roadside eatery and have no idea what a dhaba is anyway.

Well, we did have a good laugh over it. Hilarious, but still, what the fuck, Express?!

So that's what a vegetarian is supposed to do eh Mr A? Alright, next time someone asks me, I'm a fuckin cannibal.

PS: For those who didnt understand what the heck all this is about, kindly ignore and wait till the next blog post. It will be more coherent, I assure you.


Figment: A crossing in the rain

Misty rainy afternoon. The noise around me slowly ceases, and ends in a low thud, followed by a hiss. The train stops. I get down on the opposite end, and two tracks stretch out on the side, deserted. Piercing rubies adorn the signal posts as far as the eye can see, except for one shining, pleasing emerald on the opposite end of the line.

And then the rumbling becomes more apparent. The thunder grows louder, and finally two screaming green WDG3As show up hauling a tanker rake, smoking for all their worth, in the cold. Smell of petroleum fills the air, and the clickety clacks with occasional strange clanging noises and thuds rebuke the silence. I stand right next to the gentleman who hauled us up till here, as he waits, occasionally hissing and idling up to keep himself warm. I cast it a look now and then, like a rider gives his steed.

The passing train rumbles away, and all that is left are the receding sharp clicks in the track, the engines beating far away.. and the world returns to the sound of the incessant drizzle, silently piercing the low, grey wisps of diesel smoke.

Drawing in the cold air, I'm tempted to have a smoke again, and I remind myself that this is precisely the reason I never allowed myself a first puff. The signal has turned to a sober amber and the loco sounds its wet horn. I haul myself back in and get some coffee. Blowing on my hands to keep dry, I resume my stand at the door while the train picks up pace and the din resumes. Green out the windows, out the door.. all around, and hopefully, shining ahead for the rest of the miles too.

This post marks the beginning of a new set of stuff called "Figments" on the blawg. Random, hot outta the mind pieces. Unedited, for most parts. Figments of imagination, figments of ahem.. poetry, scraps from some really engaging texting session, so on, if you get the drift, and so forth.