Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Coffee and Smokes: Intro to Jyo (#1)

I am writing a fiction series based on a character "Jyo". I don't brand her as the "typical" city girl or a representation of the modern women. She is what circumstances and life has made her. I am building her character based on a few people I know and a dash of me in it too :)


Hope you all like it. I will post often, please keep writing your comments, it could be in form of questions if any queries about Jyo or any curiosity one would have on "Coffee and Smokes".


Enjoy reading :)


Intro to Jyo
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She headed to her habitual coffee shop at 11am. This is when she got a break at work and she would spend time with herself. She spread her paraphernalia that comprised of a book, hand bag and shades. She pulled out the smokes and lighter from the handbag and signalled to the waiter to get a coffee, her customary cappuccino. This was an indoor coffee shop unlike the outdoor ones; there was soft music playing and another lone customer smoking away. This was perfect, the fewer the people the better.


She flipped the pages of the book to get to where she had left it last. Her mind though wandered to what happened at work today morning. "Jyo, come here quick, I need to discuss the monthly reports" told her boss on the phone. Her name is Jyothilakshmi but sobriquets get shorter and "western" in the BPO industry and she liked it this way. Jyo loved her job, she was a team lead and had worked for 4 years in the same organization. With all these parameters she knew Bangalore was the place to be. She took a long drag of smoke and sipped the coffee. The warm sun broke through the glass on her chosen table and she liked it. She looked outside the window pane, she saw a couple walking. She could watch them but they couldn’t possibly see her. Her discussion with her boss was good and Indro (Indraneel) was a "gem" she thought and got back to the book she intended to read. Another smoke and she was back to work.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Gurgaon-Delhi-Greater Noida, 2008

Earlier vacations were once in a year and for 3-4 days. It would be usually a trip to my in-laws place in Delhi (they have relocated to Hyderabad). Now I travel more after letting go of a highly paid and growing career wherein I missed one thing vacations ... :)

 

Now I vacation every month and most of my trips head to where my husband is in Gurgaon and I have loved each trip. This time I planned visits to an aunts place and my sis home who just moved in to Greater Noida. Further my many visits had made me comfy to move  alone in the vicinity to shop and watch a movie too :)

 

Day 1 (Mon) at Gurgaon - Wipro guest house in sec 28. Difficult to get out of the bed in the morning and being a Bangalorean 11 to 12 deg c is freezing :). The morning gets warmer as I sip a hot cup of coffee, and browse the TV and newspaper. Nidhi sleeps through it while Sridhar is getting ready to head to work. He is off by 8:30 am. Nidhi and I are at the breakfast table at 9:30 am.

 

After enjoying the breakfast we shower and are out on the road, the sun is so warm and loving. I walk down to a nearby shopping mall; it takes 15-20 minutes. I buy medicines for Nidhi as she has caught a cold. Also wandering and window shopping, I decide to then stop at a book store, head to the children’s section and buy an activity book for Nidhi. We take a rickshaw back home...and enjoyed the ride. Though on the fast track Gurgaon roads with speeding cars, one is precariously holding on to life on a rickshaw but there are the thrills. With no auto in sight and no public transport, this is an easy option.

 

Today night was even more exciting, it’s our marriage anniversary. We complete 9 years of marriage and we are feeling younger by the yearJ. My Father-in-law comes over from Ghaziabad to bless the couple :) and that’s such a nice gesture.

 

Day 2 (Tue) at Gurgaon - Wipro guest house in sec 28. It’s the same cold mornings and the much awaited 9:30am breakfast. At 10:20 am we are out. This time I plan a movie for Nidhi and me. We do a lot of that in Bangalore and enjoy watching movies together. A rickshaw to a nearby mall that has the PVR cinemas. I buy a ticket for Dostana because that’s the one available at 10:45 am, the rest are after 1pm....

 

Dostana is hilarious, and the gay humour was timed so well. The 2nd half had emotional bits but the humour in between kept it going strong :)

I had lunch at Halidrams and we were home in the Rickshaw and Nidhi was pretty used to it by then that she slept in it :)


Late evening we spent time at home, I watched "Welcome to Sajjanpur", since I am from UP I can relate to the language. I liked the good story, dialogues, humour and the emotions aptly put in. Shreyas Talpade did an excellent job.

 

Day 3 (Wed) at Gurgaon - Wipro guest house in sec 28. I was beginning to feel a sore throat and had a running nose. I decided another trip to a shopping mall for shopping or movies can be avoided. Took good rest at the guesthouse, enjoyed the lunch and slept well. Night we were off to Sarita Vihar in Delhi to meet Khatri Uncle, Aunty and their daughter Pallavi. We reached at 10:30 pm in the night and were served chaats which we enjoyed, though they felt that it would taste better if it was hotter and if we had come earlier. They had got it from their regular chaat place. After a long chinwag, we went to sleep unaware of the happenings in Mumbai. Sridhar was back to sec 28 and waiting to be shifted to the new guest house 15kms away at Sonah road.

 

Day 4 (Thu) at Delhi - Khatris. Roused up to the news at Mumbai and we were glued to the TV and ranting our opinions. Uncle and Pallavi had to leave for work at 8:30 am so we had adrak chai and gobi parathas at 8:00 am. Nidhi woke up late and ate cornflakes in hot milk as the dentist had advised soft food.

 

We got off at 11:30 am to Lajpatngar market for shopping. Aunty suggested we can go in the bus and come back in the Auto. I haven’t been in the local bus for like 15 years and this was really exciting. Nidhi and I enjoyed the ride. We bought a sweater (to be gifted to my maid in Bangalore), small pink woollen gloves, black boots and a toy for Nidhi. I bought some books and nighties for myself (I am a big nighty fan ;-)). We were tired and ready for lunch, had dosas in a restaurant there and hopped in an auto back to Sarita Vihar.

 

Uncle and Pallavi were back at home nearing 7pm with hot-hot aloo tikkis and this time they really were so much yummmmmm. Evening we had garam rotis, gobi sabzi and moong dal......enjoyed the meal and was supposed to be picked up by Sridhar but he got really delayed at work and asked me if I can take a drop from someone for the next day morning. I spoke to Uncle and he spoke to a neighbour who drives to work to Gurgaon every morning. We had to sleep early as we had to leave at 7am the next day.

 

Day 5(Fri) at Gurgaon - Sonah Road

Morning I had my adrak chai while watching Mumbai on TV. My bags were packed and Nidhi carried to the living room and still asleep. At 7am she woke up. We were waiting for the gentleman to pick us up. He was Pallavi's schoolmate. He came about 7:20 am. We sat in his car behind with my entire luggage. I left the front seat empty for his colleague whom he would pick up on the way. Sridhar was waiting at the planned drop off point. We got off there and waited for our taxi to take us to the new guesthouse on Sonah Road.

 

The new guesthouse on Sonah Road was pretty far from where we stayed earlier. The flats and its landscaping is beautiful. It is a huge housing complex and has up-to-date facilities. Since the shifting just happened the rooms were very dirty. We had our breakfast and got ready to go down to enjoy the lawns and the beauty of the place. Nidhi played in the children’s section for a long time and we walked a lot exploring the place. We got back to have lunch and sleep well....

 

In the night we headed to Greater Noida to meet my Sis. We reached late at 10:30pm and had great dinner cooked by my sis. We had Rajma, aloo capsicum, peas curry, dal and rice...yum yum....sumptuous meal my younger Sis suddenly feels so much bigger than I perceived :)

We chat late night and sleep off. Nidhi as usual prefers getting friendlier with the girl of the house as his her tradition :)

 

Day 6 (Sat) at Greater Noida

After a good night's sleep in the warm quilt, I woke up to a bright morning at 8:30 am and to a hot cup of coffee. We were in the grass down by 11:30 am. I was basking in the sun while Sridhar and Nidhi were in the children's play area. We left around 1:30pm for a mall “India Palace”. Nidhi immediately found a children’s play area within the mall. We reached at 2:30 pm and were really tired and hungry, had lots of food and came back in the evening tired of eating with bloated stomachs. We chilled and relaxed at Priya's place in the night. Next morning we are at Sonah road.

 

Day 7 (Sun)

We caught a quick grub in the Omaxe mall near the Wipro guesthouse and then it was time to head to airport for my flight. The flight was delayed by an hour. Nidhi and I reached Bangalore at 9:45pm. Mom was waiting at the airport with the driver Prasanna. Gr8 vacation but nothing like being back to Bangalore......love the weather and people here.....mwaaaaaaah...love ya Bangalore :)