Initially first few years, after passing out of college I didn’t have much opportunity to meet my good friend Nair. Well, we were roommates during the entire 4 years of our engineering days. He was working in Doha those days and all of a sudden he called us and said that he would come to Bangalore for a week. We used to have a decent hostel gang in Bangalore that time and the gang was scattered all around the city. Everyone was pretty much delighted to know that Nair would be soon in town. When we asked Nair about the reason for his visit, he said that he would come specially to visit us. Everyone instantly believed him, although it was a different matter that in last couple of years he never bothered to call any of us. Initially we doubted that he might be coming to attend some interview, but later we realized that he actually came to see Shruti, well the typical arranged marriage story.
During that time my wife was in Pune for a year, as she was doing her PG diploma out there. After my wife left for Pune I stayed alone for few months, but later two of my hostel mates Ram and Mriganka used to stay with me. Nair landed early morning and during that time Bangalore airport was within the city. Immediately after landing he called us and we guided him how to reach our place. At 6 AM the door bell rang and everyone was delighted to see Nair after a long time. We chatted for a while and then I asked Nair "would you like to have some tea?"
Nair replied "that would be really great"
I asked "you would like to have milk tea or red lemon tea?"
Nair replied "milk tea would be fine"
So I went inside the kitchen to prepare tea, but as I looked for milk inside the refrigerator, I couldn’t find any milk out there. I said to Nair "sorry dude, milk isn't there, so you could have lemon tea only" Nair was OK with that and I switched on the gas to boil some water. I looked for lemon inside the freeze but couldn’t find even a single piece of it. I said to Nair "abbe, lemon nahi mil raha hai"
Nair said "It’s OK, without lemon also it would be fine"
Gradually water started to boil and I thought to keep sugar and tea leaves ready, right in front of my eyes. But, what the hell? I couldn’t find any sugar inside the kitchen. With little shyness I said "yaar Nair, even sugar is also not there"
Nair replied "abbe koi baat nahi. It’s OK, red tea would be fine without sugar, just put small amount of salt in it"
Finally the drama ended. Guess what? I couldn’t find any tea leaves inside the container. Even though my tongue wished for complete rest that moment but somehow I simply said "Aree Nair, even tea leaves also not there"
Poor Nair, what he would have said? He simply laughed and said "it’s OK, what to do now? Forget it"
In the mean time the water completely boiled and I literally poured it in several cups, also mixed some salt in it. I served hot salted water to Nair and said "just assume it to be tea and drink it sip by sip, you would feel better"
It was only after an hour at 7 AM, when the nearby shop opened and Ram bought all the necessary stuffs. Later, Ram prepared some wonderful tea and we all had one of our best tea that morning.