The Parisian Cafe

Yesterday at PC, an English something woman came by to meet 2 other English something old women. Something about women my grandmother’s age speaking English makes me sit up in my seat and gawk at them. So I was gawking and soon I started barfing because one of them was groping dog to make him sit next to her. She pestered him to ‘sit’ and shake hands. Poor dog later toddled its way next to me and spent the rest of the evening under the table trying to escape evil groping grandma.

This place is what helps me put my sanity back after mad days at work.  I love these initial few days when the place is beginning to open up to me but the people in it aren’t familiar yet so they won’t smile. Not even the waiter who brings me my coffee smiles. I must learn how to fucking tip properly first. I have this crazy need to make friends with the waiter just so it all fits an image in my head, for writing’s sake at least. I wish we become best friends or he becomes somebody who will miss me if I don’t turn up someday.

I see lots of stories here. There’s an 11 year old little boy who sells tea to all the watchmen and the Istri walas and the Raddi walas. Sometimes, I forget my book and listen to him glide around the neighbourhood, selling tea, striking up easy conversations with everybody. He is really sweet to you if you don’t owe him money. He won’t give you any tea if you haven’t paid him for the last two teas. How do I know this? Evil bastard will shout out to the entire neighbourhood about who owes him money and who doesn’t. A trick he’s learnt to make sure he doesn’t get blackmailed by nicely talking watchmen who sometimes catch hold of him and eventually get that cup of tea.

Cops do their regular rounds now and then, picking up cars and bikes parked in no parking areas, looking absolutely alert and waving to somebody occasionally, nodding to most others, looking carefully for signs of drug abuse in youngsters standing near pc.

A bunch of working men come by around the time I go. They chat up on a range of interesting things. They talk about all the happening places in Bangalore, why Plan B is the best option for anybody with little money to spend on Booze, on Sonia Gandhi and why she doesn’t deserve to die, on dog and how friendly he is, and on girlfriends who were supposed to have come by now.

Much as I look forward to seeing all of this, I love those other really rare days when I am getting epiphany after epiphany, when I make great, life altering plans and decisions, when I discover the bestest short story ever written, when I hit upon something to write about, when I eavesdrop on a conversation that has left me with giggles which will come bursting out only after I make a quick exit.

Then there are days when I feel betrayed because nothing any of these other people do in their lives will arouse me so I sit there cursing everybody and their uninteresting lives and mine. I am not fond of those days. They make me question everything that has kept me happy for a long time.

What day will it be at PC today?

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