Thursday, March 14, 2013

Chai Time Musings

It's 5 PM and a weekday. In office, after a long-drawn meeting, you decide to take a cup of tea. Because your friends had already been earlier for tea, you are left alone. A cup tea all by yourself is always welcome. Gives you time to relax and contemplate.

And so I walked into the canteen, got a cup of tea and some snacks. I tried getting a good spot at the "balcony," but the best ones were occupied. After around 5 minutes, one of the tables became vacant and I quickly moved on to sit at the balcony.

My office canteen is an open area on the first floor overlooking a road. Across the road as I had mentioned in an earlier post, the Yerwada Jail fields are spread out. There are around four-five two seater tables arranged just at the canteen railing. These are really good for a quick chai and a quick dekko.

The road has been newly constructed. Earlier it was a dusty road, bumpy all over the place. Now it's transformed into a tar road and got a character of its own.

As I sat having my tea, I could see so many things happening around me. People in the canteen were enjoying their break from work. The food caterers were busying serving. A few people were having "chai-time meetings."

What intrigued me most was the road below. Earlier when it was a dusty road, hardly anyone walked by. But now, although not a main thoroughfare, there were a lot of people walking by, going for their work, teenagers talking loudly, gossiping, and laughing away to glory. Some bikers zoomed past on the smooth road. And I watched it all.

It felt as if I was standing still in the vast ocean of activity and life was happening and passing by. I felt as if I was the only stationary object for whom time had stopped. It was a kind of strange feeling. I suppose it's exactly how old ajobas and ajjis feel when they sit at their windows watching people walk by.

My own ajji had her house in one of the busiest places in Pune, right in the centre of the city. We all cousins used to fight for the coveted place in the small window that opened out to the main road. I remember  looking at the people working, talking, walking past, loitering, fighting, travelling. People going on with their lives and we mute spectators. It was like a bird's eye view. It was how God would look at the going-ons in this world, except that it was not at all our creation. Things just happened and we were the by-standers watching and observing. Never playing a part in it.

All ajjis and ajobas would be feeling the same I guess. They must be contemplating on how life has been for them, what future they have in store, what problems they faced, and how they overcame them. What life really was for them. Waiting and watching!

That's what perhaps I will be doing 30 more years down the line. Who knows! I will be one of those ajjis in the window up there, looking down at the fast world around me, thinking of my own life gone by. While everybody then would be in the fast lane, going at a speed of 80 km/h, I would be ruminating at my life in the slowest and farthest lane, going at a constant speed of 30 km/h.

The destination would be in my sight, but no deadline of reaching it!


  1. There are quite a few ajobas and ajjis who are part of the 80 kmph brigade... their zest for life is unbeatable even by us 30-somethings. I wish I could be like them!

    1. I agree, they can leave us behind and win any time. What I meant was that life would have come a full circle by the time we become ajjis and ajobas. And sometimes, it is good to slow down. :)

  2. I agree that it is good to slow down, but I have already slowed down way too much and way before time :D Gotta change gears!