Friday, 24 January 2014

My First Pair of Reebok Shoes

During our school days most of us used to wear Bata Naughty Boy shoes. In fact, I’m not able to recollect any other name other than Naughty Boy. Oh yes, how can I forget those Action Shoes which I always used to wear outside school. But my bonding with action shoes soon died after I passed out of school.  During my college days I experimented with few different genres, but never tried any massive brand. When I got my first job out here in Bangalore, I remember that I brought a pair of Reebok Shoes, most probably with my second salary. Aha, it looked so trendy and was very light. For the first time when I wore those shoes I felt so damn proud and comfortable. Even though the price was around 4 to 5 times higher than the kind of shoes which I usually used to buy earlier, my wallet didn't feel very embarrassed about it.

After a couple of days, weekend arrived. During those days weekend was like a festival for us and usually lasted continuously for 2 days. That particular weekend I and Lami decided to visit our friends in R.T. Nagar. Well, initially we stayed at that place for almost 3 months and later shifted to other parts of Bangalore. Life in R.T. Nagar was really cool and we made some very good friends out there. Those guys used to stay in a house which was just beside the busy street. It was pretty much a commercial kind of place with all different kind of shops all around. All my friends inquired about my new shoes and complimented me in their own styles. I really felt proud that moment. I noticed a collection of shoes all placed in a linear fashion in the hall, pretty close to the main door. Well, I placed my shoes at the end. I mean along with the other shoes but at the farthest distance from the door. My shoes looked like Yuvraj out there with a bunch of old shoes. My ones were of white color with black stripes on them. They were shinning and with the magnificent Reebok logo they looked so damn attractive.

We met our friends after a long time and most probably that was our first visit after we shifted from that place. We had such a wonderful time with friends, Old Monk and those lovely/yummy chickens. We gossiped the entire night and as expected, everyone woke up late. It was already noon and we went to a nearby bakery to have tea and egg-puff out there. Well, egg-puffs are very popular in Bangalore and it’s kind of savior for the bachelors, pretty similar to Vada Pav in Mumbai.  One of our friends was inside the house as he already had his breakfast. He was busy with his desktop in a room adjacent to the hall. 

After having tea we returned within 10 to 15 minutes. The main door was slightly open and as soon as we entered my eyes tried to strike at my shoes. All the shoes were exactly at the same position as it was placed earlier. But I couldn’t find my shoes. I was not very much worried and thought someone might be enjoying little bit of fun. 

“Don’t panic, it must be somewhere here” one of my friends said.

I searched all over the house and it wasn't there. One more friend was not in the house that moment and they said that he must have worn my new shoes. A little later even he also arrived with his own pair of shoes. That time everyone started to get little worried. We asked the guy who was inside the house that tragic moment. We asked him whether he heard anyone entering the house. He replied that he didn’t hear anything and was busy with his computer. We went outside the house on the street. Everyone seemed to be so busy with their own life, the shopkeepers, the customers. Few kids were playing nearby and we were absolutely clueless about my brand new pair of Reebok shoes.  After sometime we went back inside the house. The whole day everyone just talked about my shoes and sometimes they even used to laugh a bit. It was already evening and I still couldn’t recover from the trauma yet. It was time to go home and I couldn’t have gone barefooted. The guys showed sympathy towards me and offered their shoes. They said I could return them by next weekend. But all their shoes looked as if they wouldn't have fitted me. I decided to wear a pair of Hawai Chappals. A little later I and Lami took an auto and left from there. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

My Cautious Father

Right from my childhood, I always observed my father to be very watchful in almost every thing. I still remember how he used to fill our entrance examination forms. Once he filled the form, he used to cross-check it couple of times. Finally, he used to call me and asked to sit with him, so that we could have verified it together again for few more times. Quite often, I used to get irritate and wondered why he’s so damn cautious? Well, sometimes even I’m also little careful on certain things and particularly for any kind of payment related stuffs. I get little cautious whenever I do any online transaction and I’m extra careful, so that I don’t end up adding one extra zero while filling the amount. 

Unlike me, my elder brother was always very sincere and intelligent, right from his childhood. He always took his own decisions and never got influenced by others. He’s now settled out in Singapore since almost 15 years. Whenever he use to visit home with his family, they usually fly from Singapore to Kolkata and then take a flight to Guwahati. While returning also they take the same route. My brother always use to book an evening flight to Kolkata. Almost the entire night they have to wait at the airport and early morning they fly back to Singapore. Usually whenever they visit home, even we also plan our holidays accordingly. Few years ago we had a similar kind of wonderful family get-together. Our holidays were already over and we returned to Bangalore. In next few days my brother, sister in law and their cute daughter were also about to return to Singapore.

"What time is your flight tomorrow?" my father asked my brother.

"In the evening at around 7:30”

"Go and bring the ticket. I want to check" father asked.

"It’s OK. Now again please don’t start all these, I’m much more responsible. Any ways, I will check it after dinner"

After dinner everyone started to gossip in the hall. My brother went inside the bedroom. He opened his suitcase and picked up the ticket. He checked their departure time and returned to the hall.

"It’s at 7:40 in the evening" he said to my parents. 

The airport in Guwahati is quite far from the city. So next day they started little early by 4:30 PM. My parents also went along with them to the airport. They reached at around 6 PM and as usual, my parents were prepared to wait out there. Well, every time my parents go to drop them, they continue to wait till they view the particular flight, as it fly up towards the sky. 

But that day something quite unusual happened. The security didn’t allow them to go inside. They said that their flight already left in the morning. Only that moment my smart brother realized that their flight was actually at 7:40 in the morning. They always use 24 hour timing format and how could he be so stupid? My brother talked with the flight authorities and there’s no way they could have refunded his money. 

"Early morning we have our flight from Kolkata to Singapore" my brother said to them.

"The last flight for today to Kolkata will depart in an hour. If you want we can book your tickets"

The price for each ticket was almost 3 times higher as compared to the one he booked earlier. But they had to go and there was no other alternative. Somehow my brother digested all those praises and appreciations from his wife, as well as from our parents for his overconfidence. I think in certain situations, it’s always better to be cautious rather than being ignorant. 

Monday, 6 January 2014

Singara Bhujia

There used to be a small dhaba close to our hostel. Well, it’s still out there at the same place and every time I visit Guwahati, I just love to visit the college campus. The entire campus and also the dhaba as well, always uses to evoke hell lot of nostalgia out of me. I just love to stroll all around the hostel premises every time I visit there. My hands automatically light a cigarette, irrespective of whether I really wanted to have it that moment or not. It seems my body doesn't have any control over my subconscious mind that time and I always sit in those steps, even if I'm all alone. We used to spend hours gossiping in those steps during our hostel days. After few minutes, I usually go to the dhaba which fed us all those years and I miss it more than our hostel mess. I usually get extremely delighted to see some familiar faces at the dhaba and it feels really great to know that those guys still remember my name. It’s been a decade we passed out from college. 

The dhaba’s main business was in the evening and they didn't bother much about breakfast. Well, most of the guys used to have their breakfast at hostel itself or at the college canteen. But still, the dhaba guys at least had some sympathy for the extreme nocturnal ones and also for those frequent class bunkers. Tea was always available there and also those cake pieces. Aha, how can I forget those brown colored cubic shaped medium sized stuffs? Well, people call it Goza out there in Assam. It’s prepared with Maida flour and after its deep fried, the cubes are submerged in sugary syrup for hours. It tastes horribly sweet like hell and I always struggled to finish it entirely. Eggs were usually available and guys used to have it in every possible forms like boiled, omelette, single fry, double fry.  If we were lucky enough and the nearby shop was still open, we used to buy Maggi and asked the dhaba guys to prepare it. We also had the luxury to have had customized the Maggi recipe with eggs, onions, chilies and vegetables. 

In the evening everyone used to have a great time out there. Paratha/sabji was extremely popular evening snack, along with the Maggi and yes, Goza was always available.  We were fortunate enough to have tasted a unique and very innovative snack out there. Not only in that dhaba, but that particular snack was extremely popular in the entire college campus. I never ate that thing before joining college and after I passed out, I didn’t find it anywhere else either. Well, I’m talking about “Singara Bhujia”. Don’t get confused with the term Singara, as in no way it’s different from the great Indian Samosa. Singara is the same damn thing and only people call it by that name in this part of the world. I remember few times I tried it out at home, but it’s been a long time. It’s much more than a snack for us, as it’s quite capable enough to generate hell lot of nostalgia.  

I will take the pleasure to share this remarkably yummy snack with you guys.

   1. Take two pieces of Samosa and mash it using your hand.

   2. Fry some chopped onion and green chilies

   3. Don’t wait for the onions to turn completely brown and before that, just break two raw eggs and put the          inside stuffs into the frying pan.        

   4. Mix it properly and put some salt as well.

   5. Don’t wait for the egg to become just too hard and before that, put the mashed samosas in the pan.

   6. Mix it properly for a couple of minutes.

   7. Put some freshly chopped coriander leaves and mix it properly for another minute.

Just eat that damn thing hot. The very first spoonbite will make your mouth extremely juicy. It will develop your appetite instantly and I’m pretty much sure that your plate would get empty in less than a minute. Shit! My mouth is already filled with water. I think I better plan for a "Singara Bhujia" right away.

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