When the coffee shops are asleep.

White, thoroughly sieved through a fine mesh of pale clouds, sunlight filtered hot and comfortable through the car windows, as we went up and down Banjara Hills Rd no 2., as she stretched like a cat beside me on the passenger side and said , “ This Sunday is so Sunday”.

Pratha was right. This Sunday felt like a Sunday description in an old book with words like “ pinafore” and “sweet temperament”

The awakening

I was wriggling like a very snug worm under my comforter, when my phone rang. It was Pratha.

“Heeeeeeeey, Ssup? “ Says I

“ I just wanted to give you  a wake up call” ,Says she

I mumble a series of words, broken bits.

“Are we still meeting” ,she asks.  I snap out of my reverie and say

“ Do we have to do this today?”

“ Yes, wake up. Don’t be lazy” , she says

I grunt a “okay “and get up, get dressed and admire last night’s eyeliner’s superb artwork around my eyes. I looked like someone raccoons would worship and sacrifice baby raccoons for.

I pick her up and we park, where pratha directed me. It was where her father generally parked.  With that little throw of a twig to yesteryear, there was no stopping her. She slipped into nostalgia so suddenly and completely, I had to sit at the surface and wait for her to resurface.

The walk

It was a crisp, sunny morning. A textbook pleasant day. We walked the route she generally walked with her father, stopping to take pictures of grass, stopping so much, it’s a miracle we ever came out of the park.She spoke of her grandfather’s bungalow, I spoke of my grandmother’s bungalow. We discovered both the bungalows had similar courtyards and wells and trees and I found out, that she used to feed cows through iron gates and that cows can devour a mango like an industrial peeler.

The rest of the walk, we clicked pictures of bugs, we spotted two grown men poking a small snake, we spoke of the park’s infamous corners and how one shouldn’t be too surprised if two half naked people jump out of a bush, or three. But that is largely dependent.

By the end of the walk, we were craving something cold down our throats. I spied a tap dripping cold water on  the mud floor. There was no one to judge me if I just went and had a drink. Pratha doesn’t count. But, bouts of diarrhea and skyrocketing temperatures have taught me better than that, so I close my eyes and make haste., fighting temptation, winning over the evil of milling bacteria.

Back in the car, We were tired and thirsty as we discussed the merits of barefoot driving, as I removed my socks and shoes, under the warm gaze of pratha, who approved of the habit with such intensity, I felt honoured. The merits, we decided included putting people off. I am happy with that arrangement.

The breakfast

We head out to this place called “Dosa house” that pratha has spoken about more fondly that she speaks about people and feelings. She was right. The dosa was spot on. We ordered pomegranate juice, and it was the best juice I had in ages! It was just the right amount of cold, the right amount of bitter and sweet, and the right shade of pink, plus it came with a pink straw.  I slurped, as we discussed people we didn’t like, all the while, she kept slipping in and out of somewhere. She was so lazy to talk, to reply, to say yes, to agree, to say no, she just wanted to eat her cheese dosa and drink her juice and just be happy that I was there with her. So her conversation was part shrug, part speech, part slurp and part silent absent nodding.

  I was thoroughly enjoying her laziness. It was just the purest expression of “ Can I please not talk, can you please still stay and lets have a great time” and I was more than ready to give her what she wanted. I was liking the morning too much to really zone it out, completely with incessant chatter.

We paid the happy bill of three hundred rupees.

Jigi’s mother always said three hundred is my limit for spending without throwing a tantrum. She couldn’t have been more right. Three hundred rupees is the happiest total.

I dropped her off at her place, glad that I didn’t cancel the plan and rang up Chennai.  Jigi and I spoke more on where I left it with Pratha, he was just up after a nap and was a very good listener. I prattled, car prattled and I reach home, acutely aware of my instagram responsibility of posting pretty pictures of grass in another hour or so. 

This Sunday was traditionally glorious. Like a very pretty omelet. Thoughts on pretty omlettes is another rant.



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