tea times…


A swank new tea lounge had opened up in the neighborhood. A small place, looked cosy from outside.

A friend called me. She was back in town for a holiday and wanted to meet up with the gang for tea. I suggested the new place.

A few days later, I walked in with my pals.

All of us collapsed on the comfy sofas and looked around appreciatively.

“This place is  so much like the Central Perk in ‘Friends’, I said.

“Wow!” S said. “Why didn’t we have places like these when we were in college?”

“Like we would have been able to afford it!” quipped N. “Dei, you still owe me money for your college binges!” he laughed.

The afternoon saw us relaxed and catching-up on each others’ lives. The ones returning home sat reminiscing with the rest of us who were definitely not going anywhere outside our charmed city.

The ambience of the place added to to our sense of  bonhomie. Dim lights, tastefully done interiors, a book shelf crammed with a wide variety of books, a lone waiter who was in no hurry…

…it was bliss.

A few weeks later, I wanted to go there again. So I dragged a cousin to the place and told her this is a must-see place for her if she wants a cool hang-out for her friends.

She was in college and was reluctantly plodding through a course in, lets just say more scintifically oriented.

“I’m just waiting to complete college, so I  never have to look at a science book in my life again!” she told me on our way. “You know, I’m so much more interested in Arts.”

“Then why did you take this up?” I asked.

“Oh Akka! I thought this was my calling in life when I was in school,  and Arts was only a hobby. But now I realise there are so many avenues open to Arts..” She said.

Her jaw dropped opened when she saw the place.

“Oh wow!” She gushed. “What a place!”

She was alll charged up by the time we were seated. 

“Once I go back home after my college, I am going to start a place, just like this in my city!” She enthused.

“I’ll speak to mom and we can look for a place closeby…” 

As she was plotting the opening of her own restaurant, I lazily looked around.

Not many people on a Sunday afternoon, I mused.

The place was empty, but for a table on the other end.

The door opened and a couple walked in. They were holding hands and she was leaning on his shoulder. They took the table directly in front of us.

She was a PYT, pencil thin, in a tight-fitting lime-green Tee and tight denims. He was more the studious type, with a book in hand.

She looked vaguely familiar. But I just couldn’t place her.

After we placed our orders, I was still trying to place the PYT. “I think I know her..” I told my cousin, trying not stare.

I thought I was getting somewhere. Just when my brain found the last piece of the puzzle, I heard a pretty loud click.

My cousin just had to show the place to her mom. So she had clicked a pictuere on her mobile phone.

“She’s my friend’s cousin’s wife!” I said. I had been to his wedding last year.

The lovey-dovey couple, looked in our direction, startled.

“Is that her husband?” my cousin asked, not aware of the little storm she had created in their cuppa.

“No..” I replied as the girl hurriedly packed her things.

Then she walked to the door as fast as possible and let herself out.

“What have you done?!” I asked my cousin.

“That girl thinks we were spying on her and have taken a picture of them together to show her folks!”

“My god! Akka, I’m so sorry!”

But then the situation was so unreal, I burst out laughing.

The man still sat at the table, unmindful of anything, as he slowly sipped his coffee and read his book.

“Will you tell your friend?” my cousin wanted to know.

“No way!” I replied. “This is strictly none of our business. If this woman wants to cheat on her husband, its her prerogative. I hate meddling with other people’s marriages.”

“But you know Akka, these things happen in my college all the time,” She said.

“In my own class there are 2 or 3 cases. But if you’d rather not know, the righteous type you are, we’ll talk about something else.” She added cautiously.

“No, no! I”m ever ready for gossip!” I reassured her and I was greatly enlightened about a married professor living with a student and girls two-timing their class boys and so on and so forth.

And true to my words, I never mentioned my friend’s cousin’s wife to anyone at all.

And thank god I didn’t! Imagine my shock when I bumped into them in a wedding the following week. My frind’s cousin was just the same, but his wife was triple her size. I think she was definitely pregnant!!!



  1. Gradwolf said,

    April 9, 2009 at 11:22 am

    ROFL, great escape! Oh, and I’ve heard about your righteous ways from She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

    Which new tea place is this?

    🙂 I can guess who! Anyway, the place is not so new now. Last month when I went past, they had closed it down… 😦

  2. April 10, 2009 at 3:28 am

    ROFL!! This is pure unadultered gossip!! Absolute Page-3 material! Nice!!

    Thank you!!

  3. maami said,

    April 11, 2009 at 6:08 am

    I need to come to Madras asap and get a load of all that goss! And sure, let’s open a Bloggers Park in Chennai. I’ll serve tea and cake and be the jolly matron, you the posh proprieteres and Adi, Karthik and NS gang can bring in their gal pals and boy chums…We’ll get great gossip that way? Wot say?

    sure thing! 😉

  4. Pradeep said,

    April 11, 2009 at 6:55 am

    Arasiyal la idhellam sadharanamappa… 😛

    Is the bloggers park open to commenters? I’m hoping for an invitation. 🙂

    🙂 of course, u r welcome!

  5. Pradeep said,

    April 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    You know, the worst part is that all these coffee houses are designed for guys taking their kuttis there. 😛

    Even if I want to go one such place with a friend, read a newspaper/have a chat I don’t feel very comfortable. And it is not the case only in India. 😡

    Actually, this place was not like that… You could relax with a newspaper if you want to… But sadly, they’ve closed it down 😦

  6. chutney said,

    April 12, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Hahahaha! What a story! 😀 I’ve been lurking here silently for so long, but I just HAD to comment on this one! 😀

    Thanx! And welcome to my blog! 🙂

  7. NRI Maami said,

    April 14, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Hello.. Thank god you did not almost spoil somebody’s life! Now your cousin needs to re-think her strategy of starting a similar coffee shop.

    Maami.. how can I remotely be present at your blogger’s park?

    :)I know!! Good to see u after so long!! Enjoyed ur break?!

  8. maami said,

    April 14, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    @NRI: What do you mean remotely? You are a sister-maami! You will have to be present each time you visit Madras 🙂

  9. Pradeep said,

    April 16, 2009 at 5:29 am

    @Padmajav: hmmm looks like the only economically viable model for a coffee shop is for it to act as a “facilitator for clandestine kadalai pottufying”.. tch tch abachaaram!! 😛

    What to do?! Kali muthi pochu!!:)

  10. maxdavinci said,

    April 18, 2009 at 1:24 am

    PYT to peggy, whoa! let’s leave it there for my head running in the wrong directions.

    @maami: bloggers park = neat!

    🙂 I know!

  11. Anamika said,

    May 26, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    i didn’t quite understand the ending 😦
    was the wife a different person ?
    t gal whom u saw in the coffee shop – was she not the wife and u were just mistaken ?????

    yup! i mistook the girl i saw in the coffee shop for that wife! 🙂

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