Sunday, August 07, 2005

Yesterday: A long ramble

*** Posting a blog written elsewhere long time ago***

Yesterday was quite fruitful. So fruitful that I went to sleep humming a tune. Not that something great happened; it was just akin to a day in one's childhood after winning a small prize at the school fete. Nothing much in the physical sense but a lot in the meta physical realms.

It started like any normal day. Or on second thoughts, it was different from the start. The maid turned up at 7 AM. First of all she actually turned up and then it was at a time we always wanted her to come. Now that am the lone guardian of the house as wife is spending some quiet moments at Ramana Ashram, had to quiz the maid regarding her irregular appearances. As I couldn’t catch a word of the rapid-fire Tamil response of hers, I scooted into the balcony to read the morning papers.

In the evening decided that I could combine a trip to the post office (a task that my wife has been sms-ing lest I forget) and a walk. I had to inform them about our change of address. Somewhere between St. John's church and R.A.Puram Post office I decided to take a long walk to Kapaleswara Temple. Started walking past the Mandavelli bus depot along R.K.Mutt road and at Mandavelli post office, which incidentally is celebrating its 100 year of service, turned right. The lane was nicer and had lesser traffic. Walked as far as a temple that sat at a bifurcation on the road. Took the left ford and turned left into Adam street. Promptly I was transported into another century. Atleast on and off. The houses were from another era when Chennapatnam was a fledgling town. People may have been surprised to see someone gawking over these ancient structures while swank (or atleast in comparison) ones were right next. There a lovely building that now housed a matriculation school, a small house with a large enamel board saying "XYZ Export quality agarbatti"... Few lawyers here and there.

This lane led me to the part of Kapileswara Tank in front of Vasanta Bhavan. As I reached the end, the smell of coffee (Leo and few others) and lovely sambar made me hungry. Instead of succumbing to my desires immediately, decided to walk around the temple, so I walked past Rasi where large shelters were being constructed for some puja in the coming days, and into Ambika Appalam Depot. At Ambika, purchased Vatalkozhambu mix, garlic powder and Hot Madras Onion pickle (777 Brand). Then purchased 8 delicious jackfruit fruitlets for Rs. 10. Delicious since I sampled the ware before the purchase. Walked onto the road that comes from Luz corner.

In the beginning of this street, few weeks ago I saw a tiny board that just said 'Cook and See' and in the next line Meenakshi ammal. I was excited since many years ago someone told me about this book that it is a veritable storehouse of south indian recipes. Bit of googling tells me that three volumes (originally called Samaithu par) written by this lady in the early sixties contain over thousand recipes. Since the place is always locked, I have to imagine that this amazing lady lived here.

Little ahead on this road is my coffee place: sarvana sweets. It is right behind the bus stop where scores of people stop by and savour the elixir. It was an accidental discovery. The coffee costs rs.3 and is worth every paisa of it and much more. The process of the exchange is a bit bureaucratic though. One has to purchase a computer printed coupon inside and then hand it over to a cool dude who has his radio plugged through earphones. I normally ask for extra strong and so I did. This time I even ventured to purchase a tiny buttered paper packet of savouries to go with my coffee. The pack, also costing Rs.3, had five tiny samosas. Each had a filling of less than a teaspoon. Imagine, a tiny tiffin break for rs. six!! no wonder the place is teeming with people. The coffee was great and so were the samosas.

While walking back, I stopped over at a puffed rice shop. They were roasting peanuts and the aroma was wafting all around. For some strange reason, even after sampling the warm peanuts, I decided to purchase poha. Poha made from red rice for breakfast. With a content look, I then walk back home. This got me thinking that I really need to take a heritage walk of Mylapore that has been recently started. As soon as I reach home, Wife called and had a long chat with her.

The good feeling was not coming to an end yet. Later in the night, Bilbo put up her amazing pictures of Japan, one of my dream destinations. Later on, Topkapi wrote an equally amazing blog about Istanbul!!! my other dream destination. So by the time I got to the bed, the good feeling totally got to my head and as a result, I was humming as I hit the pillow. Had someone else written about Greece or Morocco, I could have died peacefully in my sleep with a real content expression!!!