Friday, March 02, 2007

Chukku Kaapi to Cappuccino

I received this email from one of my friend who is living in US. I'm not sure about the source of this posting but very interesting to read. The Credit goes to him/her who wrote this. He/She has experienced the same way I did in my childhood days, LITERALLY. So, it would be appropriate to say that I want to share this experience of ours with you all. Never heard of the word Chukku Kaapi? Its a traditional coffee made in Tamil Nadu with spices like Corriander Seeds & Dry Ginder powder. Some of the words used are much localized (Thirunelveli Basha) hope you get it right...

This blog was written because I was left with no work to do after coming
back from Café Coffee day today. I always feel that blogs are written by
people who have nothing else to do, but write blogs. And blogs are written
for people who have nothing else to do, but read blogs. So if you have
nothing else to do, continue reading.

Café Coffee Days in my life!!! I can't believe it. Six, seven years back I
would never have imagined that such a day would occur in my life. Café
Coffee day is supposed to be a place where high class people who didn't
know how to spend the money they had, go. But now I am there... I have
changed a lot since my school days.

As I said in my previous post, I never talked in English till the end of my
12th standard. May be in my primary school we talked in English a little
bit... (Since girls were there in my primary school we used to talk in
English... Mostly it was the "You go girl." "Miss this boy no... he is
stealing my pencil miss" and "Miss this boy is pinching me miss" type of
pathetic English.). Till I went to college, I never read an English
newspaper. I never knew who Sidney Sheldon was. I never saw English movies.
"Star movies" was considered adult material at home. I never talked to a
girl. I don't feel that I missed anything...But still because I didn't have
such experiences, I had to adjust a lot when I traveled beyond Cornigela,
my place.

Born in Cornigela, an ordinary conservative town, even Chennai took a lot
of time for me to adjust. My home town was too cool. You could watch movies
for 15 Rs. in an AC theatre. You get the best food at lowest prices. You
can drink water wherever you want and it doesn't affect you. Girls never
wear T-shirts or Jeans. You can see girls in half-sarees. And there were a
lot more things that were cool to me...My first costly experience as far as
I can remember was my first Pizza.

In my 12th standard holidays I had my first Pizza. We, a group of 5 friends
went to a bakery. It was around 7 p.m at night. We ordered our first Pizza
(only one because it costed so much - 20Rs!!!). As the Pizza arrived one of
the guys started using his hand to take out a piece. "Ley" ....The others
shouted... "asingam pannatheylae. Fork kudupaanga"... We got 5 forks for
eating one Pizza. Everybody tried taking out a piece with the fork. Nobody
was successful. Stupid forks... As we were trying different methods, two
girls came in, and took the table adjacent to ours. They seemed to be from
the so called high class families in Cornigela. They ordered a Pizza. We
were still trying to eat ours. Their Pizza arrived in their table. Unable
to find a solution, we looked at them for one. One of the girls took out a
piece with her hand and started eating it. Damn stupids we were!!! But what
do we do now?? We can't go back to the hand-intake method... We are
brave!!! Luckily for us the power went off... Forks were put down and
everybody started picking a piece with the hand. Our sole aim- finish it
off before power comes back!!! Unlucky for us, power came back
immediately... We had a piece each in our hands... The girls started
laughing... People around us realizing what had happened too joined
them...We promised we would never eat Pizzas again. But we all did.

The first change in lifestyle for me occurred in Chennai. Chennai was
completely different. Watching a movie for Rs.40 was a one time life
experience for most people in my village. I had to adapt to such things
since I had to be a part of the group. Otherwise you feel let out. My
habits started changing. For example, you look into the glass before
drinking water to check whether it is clean. I went to my first Coffee Pub
in Chennai. I remember saying some time back "Loosu paya thaan Coffee publa
poi mukkaa manineram wait panni oru black coffeeya 50 Ruba kaasu kuduthu
kudippaan" - I did it...

If Chennai was difficult for me, how easy would be an MBA school? I was
dumbstruck with the culture... The Hi's and the fundoo English speaking
guys were all a great change, though I had expected it. There is a sense of
hollowness when you say a Hi to somebody here. In Cornigela a smile was
enough to say what you feel. There is real sense of belonging in a smile. I
miss it - a smile without a Hi.

Here is an example to show how my family mindset is different from the
mindset here. At the end of the first term when I went home, I showed quite
a few photographs to my parents. In one photograph there was a guy who had
his arms around a girl's shoulder. My mother asked me whether they were in
love. I said "No". But even today she doesn't believe me. She still feels
that they are in love!!! If only she comes here(...

The mind works mechanically here - after you crack a joke you do what they
call high fives!!! When you meet a person you ask something like "What's up
buddy?"- Only God knows how you are supposed to answer for such a
question!!! You say "Excuse me" after a sneeze - What big mistake have you
made to say that?? When you are ready to sacrifice ethics for grades and
see even your closest friend as a competitor in group discussions, how much
difference will that Excuse me make? Pretty difficult to adjust!!!

Even Café Coffee Days and costly dinners sometimes hurt. Daily my father
takes a bus to reach home from his office because taking an auto would cost
him Rs.30. He walks a kilometer daily from the bus stop to my house. When I
think of that and the fact that I am spending Rs.50 for a Chocolate
Fantasy, I feel uneasy. Definitely it is not a matter of money. The fact is
that I somewhere in my heart feel that this is not really who I am...The
fact that I have changed a lot hurts... I want to be the same myself, but I
am unable to do so.

Started listing down a few things that have changed in my life. The left
column is a list of things that were part of my life before I entered
college. And the right are those that I came to know/were a part of my
after I entered college.

I wish I go back to school and be the same guy I was. I know I can't. But I
want to do it and live the same life all again.

Leo da Mirci once said, "I love what I do because I do only what I love".

If only following something is as simple as saying something!!!

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