~Spero ergo sum~™

August 25, 2007

(1) Memoirs of Mascarenha’s

Filed under: Life,Sobriety,Stories,Whatever — Teal @ 12:44 pm

IT was 7:00 am in the morning. I was having my beauty sleep after heading home just around 5 hours before …. This was one of those days I woke up cursing Alexander Graham Bell and that creep/creeps who ever came up with the concept of cell phones.

As my phone blared out my favourite retro rock number, I could feel myself think “Oh no .. please let it not be my boss and not another teleconference ..”. Oh, but it was something worse. Far far worse.

Giri sounded totally psyched over the phone … “Som, they are tearing down Mascarenha’s! We’re all here. Come over soon. Heard it was some family feud over share of property… blah blah ..”

Had it been one of those saturday morning calls that Giri made, I would’ve kept the phone a foot away from me and headed back to the land of dreams. But he had me wide awake with the first sentence. And a little sad too.

All through those days of troubled adolescence, and those days of extreme joy or sorrow , Mascarenha’s had been our one stop shop. Our Cave from the rest of the world. To put in hip-hop lingo, our crib/joint. And it was being torn.

Torn Down.

A decade of memories heading towards total deluge.

I found myself getting back to the real world real quick … so much for not being a morning person. “So who all are there? I’ll be right over in 5 mins”.

Giri said 3 names in all .. 3 in the place of 4.Anirudh, Sowjanya and Derek. “We’re all here Som. Come over quick.”

That is not ALL of us. Even at this point , whilst others had forgotten him, I could vividly recall Ashok’s face. And I could also imagine that look of ice cold fury on his face.

After hurriedly brushing my teeth, I found myself running in my teddy bear jammies and faded tee towards Mascarenha’s.

Oh Ashok, where the hell are you man?

Why the Fk didn’t we all sort things out with you? Why didn’t you admit that it was your fault? It was your bloody fault man, now look at you. No one even knows where your are.

No one even cares.

Around that familiar bend, I could see 3 figures gazing intently at the small shop on the corner. Sowjan was muffling away, tears more like waterfalls flowing over her cheeks.

Derek looked like he would break down any moment. I walked straight up to Giri. He put his arm around my shoulder, looked right into my eyes and asked “Missing Ashok right?”

Dammit.

Giri apart from being one of the best shrinks in Chennai, had this uncanny ability to read minds. Especially mine. I found myself mustering a weak ‘No’, which would not even convince me. The four of us looked on as Mascrenha’s slowly ceased to exist, until nothing remain except a big pile of rubble. I could feel this inherent sense of loss, like that of losing an old friend. For in this very place, I had met and made good friends , and lost one too.

Sooji came to terms with the destruction and said in her signature style “Lets go out for an aish-keem … Me totally depressed and bummed out.” Had that remark been any day other than today , we’d have headed straight to Mascarenha’s , where the jolly pot bellied owner would’ve handed us 5 triple scooped softies of Vanilla, Butterscotch and Coffee. But this time around, we felt defenseless. Orphaned. Like a stray child without a place to call his own.

As Derek the foodie went on and on about the hangouts across our neighbourhood, I felt a strong feeling that we were being watched. I turned around to see a familiar figure seated rather arrogantly on a Birdie. Without letting him realise I had seen him, I looked back at the gang as they finalised the place to mourn the massacre at Masacrenha’s.

I found Giri pulling me away from ground zero, but I couldnt help but stare into the rear view mirror of a car parked on our side of the road.

Ashok Sarangapani was looking right at us.

I could hear that familiar roar of the bird fade away into the blue morning. Wonder if we would ever see him again?

August 6, 2007

Sounds of Silence …..

Filed under: Life,Misc,Music — Teal @ 11:56 pm

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