Big fat ten

Last Friday, The Dude and I completed 10 years of legal togetherness. It was a nice day. We took the day off and then went to our new house because the designers were to have a final look and collect the keys from us to finally start the interiors. And for once, they reached before us on time, which was like a gift in itself, because come on, who does that anymore anyway? So we met them, and were entering the building when we realised that we had forgotten something small – small in size and not importance (unfortunately) – the keys. So we drove all the way back through the traffic and got them keys. In the middle of all this I took a work call I had been anticipating all morning, and that lasted 3 minutes.

Then we went to this little cafe on the way, called the Driven cafe. It has like this bike/car theme to it, you know where all the decor is essentially from a garage? But it was nice. We decided to go sit upstairs because we assumed it would be nicer. It was alright. There was a guy sitting there scrolling through his phone with earplugs and a T-shirt with the cafe name on. So we waited for him to turn around and maybe get a menu or something because we have seen restaurants and cafes do that in the past. But that didn’t happen, so I sat and clicked pictures of the place and The Dude went down to find out that it was all self-service and the menu was on the blackboard, which I thought was very European, and also very lazy.

Then we ordered some coffee, I was about to order the regular Americano I prefer at cafes when I saw an ‘Indie-Americano’. I had to ask ofcourse, because this was 30 bucks or 45% more expensive that the former. The lady nicely told me that they would add haldi to the black coffee. I don’t know if you know that I am quite adventurous and a real risk taker when it comes to trying new food, but this was way too much for me. I mean 30 Rupees for a pinch of haldi in my black coffee is worse than that whole haldi doodh being sold as turmeric latter drama. So I refused it and went ahead with my regular Americano.

I also had red velvet cake and cream cheese in a jar, which was quite awesome but paled in comparison to the weather outside – grey and rainy. It was also absolutely peaceful – because we were inside. The place was playing the kind of music that kids these days listen to, but we were ok because the alternative was to hear the cars honking on the busy street. We spent a good 2 hours chatting and talking nonstop,  before we got back home to sleep for a while, which meant I slept and The Dude sat and scrolled through his phone, which is also the usual meaning of afternoon siestas in our household.

In the evening, we had decided on a nice place for dinner to celebrate. I had bought a dress for this, which is pretty much a lie because I had generally bought a dress which I do quite regularly because Online shopping is so awesome and it was just that I hadn’t worn it as yet. Just like the other few clothes I haven’t worn as yet, but this one made the cut and was deemed as my anniversary dress because we do things like that.

The place was nice, the food was good, though the portions were sort of small. I really didn’t mind it as much because that would mean 1) I would have space for dessert, something I miss every time despite my love for sweets because I am already too full by the time we reach the end 2) I wouldn’t end up with a balloon of a stomach destroying my ‘outfit’. Anyhow, it was a good evening, filled with a lot of talking and random discussions and before we knew it was almost 11 and time to head back home.

At home we sat for maybe another hour or so in our beautiful 19th floor balcony, talking and chatting about work, and the house and Zo, before we finally headed back to bed, content. The good part was that I felt it had been a happy day, one well spent.

The best part was that it felt exactly like every single day I have spent with this guy in the past 10 years.

 

Loyal Stalkers – Book Review

Last week, I was waiting for the latest books I had ordered on Amazon to be delivered, and was in for a surprise when I was greeted with not one package, but two. The other was from PanMacmillan publications and in it was Chhimi Tenduf-La’s third and latest book – Loyal Stalkers.

9781509876303loyal stalkers_2_jpg_251_400

 

I am not sure if you remember, but 2 years ago, I had read and reviewed this author’s first two books – The Amazing Racist and Panther, and they had been incredible in my view. This third book, is a collection of short stories based in Sri Lanka.

I am not a very short story person, and I had my apprehensions when I picked it up. There are more than 10 stories – telling us about the lives of people in Srilanka. These people came from absolutely varied backgrounds and situations – what with stories involving smugglers, cricketers, security guards, house-help, rich socialites and even a serial killer. The very span of the different facets of Srilanka living that you could see through these stories was downright astounding.

The highlight of the book however was that every story had some character, main or otherwise, linked to some other story in the book. This was not a surprise element, and is mentioned on the blurb itself. But I think that the subtlety with which these linkages were handled is commendable. The stories also panned across different times, and you would see the same character in a different story at a much later, or sometimes earlier phase of their life. And through this, the author ensured that he brought about some amount of closure to each character and their life, an aspect that I am immensely thankful about. Also, while I know it is not realistic expectation, but the only minor grudge I had was when there were characters I wanted to know more about, and expected them to come up in other stories, but they didn’t.

Not all the stories were your typical happy endings, but then reality never is, is it? And while some stories made me cry, some made me smile, and some actually made me cringe at the rawness, the graphic detail – the warm undertones remained through out. Yes, I do of course have my favorites in the lot, but that is more an individual opinion about the actual events that happen, rather than the story itself.

All said and done, I think it was extremely engrossing read, and I would recommend it to anyone. In terms of rating it, I might go as far as calling it Chhimi’s best work so far, more because of this unique format that offers you variety, but brings you back to the all encompassing common theme of life.

Once again, thank you Panmacmillan, and Chhimi for sending this across – I am sure everyone reading it will love it!