Another rain-filled lazy afternoon on the bean-bag in good old Bangalore. A little while later I am gonna have some coffee at the nearby Darshini-shop. Not too far away are situated Café- coffee-day & Barista, side by side, brothers in arms, partners in crime.
One wonders, how often the ways of capitalism take whimsical turns. Please don’t get me wrong, I am dead against socialism and its cousins. But then, for instance, take the wicked grandmother of the previously mentioned siblings: Infinitea, the Tea-shop on Cunningham road. They serve you tea for hundred rupees and you need to specifically request them to bring some milk. Grandma is kind enough to give some cookies too, just for 50 bucks.
Tea has always been an extremely basic beverage in Indian context, it's right next to water if you ask me. How many times we all must have heard “Bhaiya, kuch chaai-paani loge.” or something like “Arre unke yahan jaaon to koi chaai ke liye bhi nahi pooochta hain.” It’s the birth- right of every visitor to expect Tea and moral responsibility of every host to offer it.
I recall an incident when we went to my paternal village. How I detest that depiction of villages in Bollywood movies where there is hariyaali chaaro taraf and everyone is so jolly content, always smiling and without worries in clean clothes. Equally irksome is the Hollywood depiction, where every other man is a snake charmer and all women roam around half naked.
Anyway, so while we stayed there, we visited a house in the neighborhood. We were sitting outside when I heard the lady of the house whispering to her 5 year old son to go and bring some milk from his uncle’s house. He was ushered out from the back door. Sometimes later, the boy came hurrying through the front door and screamed this not in English “Mom, there wasn’t any milk at uncle’s place so I got it from Sham’s house”.
The lady was red with embarrassment now. My mom wondered aloud how fast the kid has grown and enquired whether he goes to school. He would go from the next year. We got a very sweet tea, the fifth of the day since we were on a visiting spree.
When a friend of yours shows this shirt he bought at Rs. 800, you end up saying “Wow, this colour looks good on you” or “Mast, sasta maal mil gayaa yaar”, depending on your sex. Generally though, one always checks whether the input (say X) is justified by the output (say Y) or not. For Indian sensibilities, Tea is a very basic thing, a very small number in terms of price or value. At Infinitea, the input X >100 (a large enough number) while the output Y is Tea. For further reading, would you be so kind as to recall elementary calculus without too many qualms. If you are still with me, let me reassert that the ratio X/Y tends to infinity when numerator in getting disproportionately large while denominator diminishes to a small value. Hence, there couldn’t have been a more apt name than Infinitea for this place. These morons are yelling out at top of their voice ,unwittingly of-course, that we loot you more than anyone else can. Beat us and you’ve gone beyond infinity. The search for that elusive concept ends there.
It's getting darker now and for me to enjoy the coffee ,the sky should be at least grey if not blue. I'll post this once I've had my coffee. Spell-check wagerah karna baaki hain .
It's been two days since I typed the sentence above. To justify the delay, lemme add a video . I like the typcial Indian tea shop shown in it among other things.