Sunday, May 12, 2013

Imagining reality

Chai at A bar

Rob made chai for himself, placed it on the handle of his chair, and sat with his laptop on his lap. He typed away frantically. His sweaty palms slid along the black surface of his brand new Lenovo. He sweat profusely. His typing came to an abrupt halt. He burst into tears. He tried to blind his sight to a few photographs on his screen, which slowly surrendered to his copious tears. He sat upright, breathed heavily, and slapped himself hard. He picked up his phone to call his best friend. “Yaar, you come. I wait at Angel’s street,” he requested. “Angel, my foot!” he banged the phone down on his chair and cracked his Catwoman phone case. His chai cup fell off the handle.

In a show of renewed spirit, he unlocked the doors of his swanky new yellow Volkswagen Beetle. His phone rang again. “Where do you want me to come? Where on Angel’s street?” Ron asked. “I saw place called A bar yesterday. New place, I think. You come. I wait. New place good for topic I will tell,” he replied. 

He reached the place early. When he got down, he noticed that one of the car’s headlamps failed. He kicked to blow the other one too. He smiled. “Same now! All girls same,” he told himself. He walked up to a paan shop and bought a Marlboro. He lit it and fished his phone out of his heavy pocket. Along came chocolate wrappers of ChocOn and The Dark Knight Rises ticket stubs. He put them on fire and checked his watch. It was 0000 hours.

Ron arrived on his yellow Vespa. “Such a beautiful drive, this!” he said while locking it. “OK, so...what’s wrong?” he asked Rob. “Dude! You look totally spent. Are you alright?” Rob hugged Ron and said, “I end it...OK... I tell full happened story.” 

They walked in together into a place that seemed old and deserted. There were four bean bag chairs around a short table and there were just four such tables spread across the huge hall. The walls were painted black. The paintings were hanging loose. There wasn’t anyone at the counter. “Weird. I think I know this place,” Ron told himself. A man in black arrived at the table, “Anything for you misters?” he asked. “Yes...” “No. Wait. You drink means you no listen to what happened. I too drink after,” Rob interrupted Ron and requested the waiter to give them some time. The waiter obliged,”I’ll be inside. Asleep probably. With my earphones listening to Sinatra. I’ll be happy to be disturbed to help you guys.” Ron asked, “Let me have a drink. Never mind. Go on. Your story.” Rob began.

“Like you know, I engaged last month. I happy and confident like that Joker in the movie. Yesterday itself both saw movie. She got lot calls in between movie. I felt disturbed with people looking me not her while she talking in phone. I suspected fishy.”

Ron broke his narration, “OK, let me guess. She was talking to some guy and tried her best not to let you know. So, you checked her Facebook account and realized that she’s having another affair. Is that it?”

“Yes. But not full story. Hear me,” Rob replied.

“Go on.”

“ over and I dropped at her friend place. She requested me like that. She had worrisome face. I got enraged and upset. She did not bye me.” He paused. “I want drink now. I call waiter.”

“Wait.  And?”

Rob walked into the waiter’s room beside the kitchen and woke him up. He was curious to know who Sinatra was. He got one of the earphone buds and listened to ‘Strangers in the night.’ The man in black rubbed his eyes and said, “May I help you?”

“Nice  tune. Stranger night. Can I get one glass Rum?”

“Sorry, mister. We don’t serve alcohol.”

“Why? What? I sad please please,” Rob pleaded the waiter.

“I’m afraid I cannot get you alcohol, mister. I don’t serve it here.”

Rob shed more tears. Ron walked in, looked at the waiter and said, “Vince. Vince? Vince, is that you? Oh, good lord! I knew I knew you. What is this place? Familiar but...have I come here before? What are you doing here? Isn't your restaurant down on Paradise road?”

“Do I know you?” Vince asked.

“Yes, you do. I was  a frequent visitor to your restaurant Ambar. OK...mmm... French toast, my favorite food?” Ron tried to stir up Vince’s memory.

“Yeah. Right! Man...Phew! Am I old already?

“Yeah. I sold that property. Rough weather. Prices in the area have gone up. Couldn't break even. Not a paradise anymore. So, I very recently got this. Fair deal. Got some plans to turn it around, decorate this place and restart all over. I plan to call this Chai at Ambar,” Vince explained.

Rob butt in, ”You know both?” He wiped off his tears and lit another stick. “Vince, never mind. I take Ron for personal work.”

“Sure. Can I get something for both of you?”

“OK. I want grab some buds," Rob asked.

“You know what...Never mind, Vince. Can you get us some chai?” Ron asked Vince.

“Ron, chai at a bar? I want kick off worry with Rum.”

Ron and Vince smiled.

After a heavy round of convincing, Ron got Rob to have a cup of chai and promised him a glass of Whiskey at his place. The three of them had masala chai together. Rob lay quiet and tried to clear the cracks of the case off his phone. Rob and Ron left Vince for some Whiskey at Ron’s.

Rob gulped his whiskey and resumed his tale of sorrow, “I went home and opened laptop. I saw Facebook and sure that she not fair to me.” He had several more rounds and fell asleep. Ron, though worried, was confident that there was nothing fatally wrong between the two. He logged into twitter and checked his timeline:

@F1winner Raikonnen gets pole. Catch the action live tomorrow.
@duderoy Massively drunk. Joker rules! Screw Batman.
@desiladka Winked at a woman today! \m/
@memaya Home finally! Two close friends split up. What's this world come to?! On the flip side, spent an amazing evening with @robme. Thanks, honey!

Ron smiled to himself and made himself a drink. He typed an e-mail to Rob:

Rob, you piece of sh!t. You know they say ‘Sh!t happens’.’ Exactly. You got yourself into a huge misunderstanding. Maya just tweeted that she got home and her close friends broke up. She probably got a few calls from them while you were at the movies. She even tagged your crazy handle mentioning that she spent a great evening with you. You, retard!

When you see this e-mail tomorrow, go out and fix your damn phone and car. I have never e-mailed someone who’s right beside me, sleeping with his ass showing in my bed.

And the place is called ‘Chai at Ambar’ not ‘A bar’ as you said. Those letters just fell off! Probably.

Chai at Ambar!


Navamita Mukherjee said...

Beautiful RT, the narration seems so real like you were a part of it and listening to Ron and Rob's conversation.

Subho said...

Make a movie, RT! Very realistic story telling... Great job! Keep it up!