Wednesday, February 27, 2008

From Chennai Kaapi to Chicago Coffee

This blog was more a provocative inspiration or an inspiring provocation from another blog called "From Chukku Kaapi to Cappuccino", and also partly because I am not totally jobless, and I believe blogs are written by people who have something to say and are articulate enough to give words to their thoughts, and read by people interested in hearing others' experiences.

My Cafe Coffee Days have been few, by far, mostly, to attend PSBB reunions where I would, most often, be somewhat of an odd-man out, feeling not so in the place which is definitely supposed to be a place where "high class kamnaattis" spend money they had, simply because they had to. And despite my change from my school days to college, I haven't changed a wee bit from college to here, in fact, I've probably become more of myself.
I've talked English for most part of my life, well, also English, would be more apt. We talked English in school not for girls, but due to a wonderful school called Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan and its wonderful teachers who inculcated in us a sense of global belonging while firmly ingraining in us our roots, history and culture. (That my generation is quite screwed up is a different issue altogether.) I've read "The Hindu" all my life, and despite its communist ideology and predominantly anti-Hindu sentiments, I've relished it with my morning cup of soodaana filter coffee made by amma. I knew Sidney Sheldon, but didn't read his romantic crap. I loved Enid Blyton, and devoured Famous Five, Secret Seven and quite a few of her other novels. Then I became addicted to Five Find-outers, then Hardy Boys. I saw a few English movies. I've talked to girls all my life, and I'm somewhere near the lowest part of girl-interaction all my life right here right now.
Born in Visakhapatnam, a famous town in Andhra Pradesh, and having grown up in Chennai, things were quite okay for me. Chennai is hot, and theaters are quite expensive, but ok. Food is great. Chennai rocks as far as good food is concerned. Girls have started wearing T-shirts and Jeans, the churidhar is becoming a relic nowadays. Half-sarees probably in temples if you are lucky. Cool did not mean Pizza. Cool did not mean a branded watch. Cool was Marina. Cool was the evening breeze at the end of a hot summer afternoon.
My first pizza was probably around 7th-8th standard. Pizza Corner, I guess. The fork wasn't exactly difficult.
The only time I had black coffee in a "high-class coffee pub" was in Qwiky's, when I had gone with my college classmates Surendran and Harini to ask for sponsorship for my symposium.
And that was my last attempt at black coffee too. I drink ready-made Bru coffee here. Yeah, it doesn't have the aroma of filter kaapi, but what the hell. Compared to crappy black coffee, it's way better.
And that's probably one of the few things that have changed.
Change is good. Change is part of life. Change is inevitable (sigh). But change for change's sake isn't cool. Resisting change probably is. I'm happy I haven't changed much, thus far, at least. And I hope it's for good.
PS: No offence intended to the author of the original blog, just a straightforward from-the-heart-reaction at how things need not actually change, once in the US. Ultimately, To Each, His Own. :)