Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Infinity and beyond

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.


pravu said...

My niece recently started her education with a down payment of 1,00,000 - A primary education that is supposed to be free..

Ghor kalyug ---

Gareeb said...

very well said phantom with a touch of humor !
I think they are laughing at us by keeping the name like infinitea -> infinite for a tea, Barista -> Bar isse sasta, Mocha -> Mauka mile to le lo jitna chaaho,Cafe Coffee day -> nothing good for this one but you can ki "coffee day raha hai ki poore cafe ke paise maang raha hai "

raashi said...

ha ha :) but they are good places for dating ;)

Mukta said...

I totally disagree with you on this one mate!
Infinitea IS that lovable, charming old grandmotherly figure (my my I couldn't have come up with a better myself)!
It is the epitome of 'come here have a sit down, let me tell you something about teas', with that warm call it enfolds you into its grandmotherly bosom and sits you down amidst thrilling black and white, brown photos of days gone by. Intriguing and curious, funny and cheerful.
Next, like all grandmothers, she tells you stories in her menus, things you thought you knew about, things you thought were 'common place'! But voila, you learn why after all that Darjeeling tea is called just that! Like those exotic stories your grandma used to tell you before bedtime, she shifts you the next page and shows how some teas are taken , grown, in which atmosphere, in what soils, how some are best at certain conditions and others not, some with milk and others not. And like grandmothers, proud of their heritage, Infinitea takes us into the world of our produce, the things we are famous for, and reminds us different ways people appreciate something of our own!
I love the standing coffees in blore's breakfast centers and I love the dhaba chai's all over India, milky and abundant, but I love Infinitea for taking me on an exotic ride into the word of Teas, all at the cost of..dare I say it, in about the range of one CD of english music!!

AJ said...

Haven't you heard this song...???

"Shayad Meri Shaadi Ka Khayaal Dil Mein Aaya Hai, Isliye Mummy Ne Meri Tumhen Chai Pe Bulaya Hai"

Dont make chai sound so cheap please... exclusivelt chai pilaane bulaya jaata tha paile.... ;-)

good post!! u write well.... Nish ko bhi kuch scope de do..woh bhi aage badega aapke chatra chaaya mein... :D

Anonymous said...

Seh ich auch so