Ramblings of a coffee addict

Much to my chagrin (and the delight of some of my sadistic friends), I am finally ACCEPTING that I am a coffee addict! Though “coffee” here is rather exclusive! For I do get coffee to drink here, just that there isn’t a remotest resemblance between “the coffee” and this coffee!!!!

So, as usual, here I am, reporting my goofups and those little incidents from Kalpakkam (yes, you read it right, I’m in Tamilnadu and totally low on caffeine still) that amuse me a great deal!

1. I get into the bus to go to IGCAR (where I’m doing my experiments). And I choose my favourite spot, the first seat so that I get to look at the road ahead, without having to bend precariously. A lady comes and sits next to me. She seems to be suffering from cold (guaging from her attire which consisted of a carefully wrapped muffler and a scarf). She makes herself comfortable and says (read croaks) to me, “I’ve a sore throat, I can’t talk much”. I almost shot back at her, When did I ask you to talk anyway?. Instead, I smiled a sympathetic smile, which was also an indication that I intended to have no further conversation with her. But nothing could deter her (she was bent on going on talking….err……croaking). Will refer to her as She hereon:

She: Your husband lives here?

Me: No, I’m not married.

She: Oh. You’re a foreigner?

Me: No (shotting her a weird glance). I’m originally from North India.

She: (switching to broken Hindi now. I’m translating it for the benefit of my friends who don’t understand Hindi, particularly, broken one) Oh ok. I guessed you’re not from around here. You don’t wear silk like other girls your age. How old are you? 20?

Me: No, I’m 27.

She: You don’t look it. You’re too thin?

Me: (tempted to say, ya, by your size, I am TOO thin! She occupied 2/3rds of the seat meant for three) No, I’m not thin. In fact, I’m overweight.

She: Rubbish! You’re thin. You should eat lot of ghee.

Me: I don’t like ghee.

She: That’s WHY!!!!!! You should eat ghee. Otherwise, if your husband is too strong, you won’t be able to take it! (and laughed out loud at her own joke)

THANKFULLY, my stop came and I got off the bus wondering if she expected me to have daily wrestling with my husband or some such thing!

2. There is no hot water here in the hostel and it gets fairly cold in the morning (it was enough to give me a cough when I took a bath with cold water in the morning). So, I went to the mess and was trying to convey to the worker there that I needed hot water for a bath (that fellow understands nothing but Tamil and sign language!!!!). He nodded his head with an amplitude of 15 cm and frequency 30 Hz and rushed into the kitchen. He comes back, all enthusiastic with a GLASS full of hot water and smiles showing his 32 teeth at a time! I didn’t know whether to strangle him or myself!!!!! I thanked him and left the glass of hot water there, much to his dismay!

3. Coffee is a scarce commodity here. Either it’s unavailable, or it’s so horrible that you’re left wishing it was unavailable!!!! So, I set out on this mission of buying whatever I find in coffee flavour. I entered the co-Operative store (the ONLY place for ‘shopping’ in the township). Now, the Co-Operative store here deserves an independent description. It’s a circular building with about 10-12 shops and a post office (that I haven’t seen open in last 7 days I’ve been here). The shops are pretty much the most basic ones, a barber shop, a grocery store, a departmental store, a restaurant (called Highway Inn), a bakery, a gifts shop and likes. The Highway Inn says, Open 24 hours and it opens at 9:00 am and closes at 7:30 pm (I guess the open “24” hours means, not 24 hours in a row)!!! Anyway, so I got into the Co-Op stores for buying coffee flavoured things and I ransacked the departmental store until I had EVERYTHING available there saying “Coffee” on it! I paid my bill and LO! I couldn’t find where the entrance of the store was! I went round round twice but just couldn’t find how I got in!!!! So, I ripped open one packet of coffee candies, mouthed two and sat for a while! After about five mins, I finally figured my way out! Such are the effects of low caffeine in my bloodstream!

4. The hostel here has a Ladies Wing and it’s well populated. Most of the women are Tamil but there are some from other parts of the country. There is one who needs mention here (I don’t mean to deride her or anything, just that her English is so amusing) . She comes to my room after dinner, and strikes a conversation. I’ll refer to her as R hereon

R: You’re a North Indian? (Heaven only knows WHY I’m asked this so often)

Me: Ya, I am.

R: Is your hair ok here?

Me: (bewildered by a question of this sort) Ya, it seems to be ok. Why?

R: The water here, very bad it is. Everybody’s hair is lossing.

Me: (with a smile) Don’t worry, I don’t HAVE much to lose.

R: Yes yes. But take care. Hair lossing and you will become hairloss.

Me: (this time, I HAD TO laugh) Don’t worry, I am all right…..

So much so for my adventures………will post more if there happen any (I’m sure there WILL BE more) šŸ˜€

– Pritesh



  1. Rohan Manik said,

    January 9, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    very amusing Pritesh but that’s the fun of it. Soak it all in, tke care

  2. Bhargavi said,

    January 10, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    hahaha!! TOOO funny! but couldnt help noticing u plagiarating Bill Watterson!! ;P

  3. Kripa said,

    January 11, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    I so love reading your posts. Miss you even more. I can just picture you in your room listening to fuuny english, wanting to break out in a laugh and holding it in a smile. What are you doing there anyway?

  4. chandra said,

    January 13, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    absolutely funny! particularly the one with “if your husband is a strong guy…” šŸ˜€

    the broken english part reminds me of a young lecturer in our engineering college. at the end of the semester, the students of the mechanical workshop (comprises a week each of carpentry, fitting, welding, turning, smithy and so on.) are given a chance to complete any unfinished experiments. and as is common with the indian system, girls and boys are put in separate groups šŸ˜¦

    the lecturer kicked off the session by declaring loudly: “all incomplete girls can go to the fitting section”. God! this was such a riot that everyone was on the floor laughing. he quickly added, “please don’t laugh. i’m a poor english man”! šŸ˜€

  5. Pritesh said,

    January 14, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Thanks Rohan, that’s pretty much all I’m doing here soaking it all in (and bloating up in the process)………

    Bhargavi, I wasn’t surely thinking of Bill Watterson but if there is a similarity, I can’t help feeling flattered (I think he’s GOD in cartooning)

    Well, Kripa Darling, I’m here to finish that all elusive PhD degree work! What else!

    And Chandra, I think you could write a post about THIS incident alone! i’m sure the world out there would not want to miss on Incomplete Girls that have been FITTED! šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€

  6. madi said,

    January 14, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Gr8! post. After reading it I got nostalgic about my initial days in kalpakkam.
    The first shocking thing tat I witnessed was tis………. “in the department bus tat goes 2 IGCAR; all the seats are occupied and ther was one seat adjacent to a female and men(who might be as old as the female’s father) were travelling standing rather than taking tat seat. It was just rediculous 2 me; but the people around told me tatz how it is….here men can’t sit adjacent to women in the bus.

  7. Pritesh said,

    January 14, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Oh yes Madi, ask ME about it!!!!!!!!!!!! It seems so ridiculous!!!!!!! I wonder how people here get married when they maintain such untouchability! šŸ˜€

  8. KRSP said,

    January 19, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Just check up for some hidden camera!!! Ppl might be playing Bakra with you!!
    If hubby is strong eh?? Ha ha ha…..
    I am sure her hubby is real real strong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Sudarshan said,

    August 17, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    haaaaaaha… too gud šŸ™‚

    You must write a follow up on this posting.. now that you are a Mrs. Tamilian šŸ˜‰

  10. Pritesh said,

    August 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Follow up will kill people with laughter! My husband’s the funniest Tamilian I know! šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€

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