The year was 2003!
I was residing in Selaiyur Hall, as a resident staff, in room no. 178!.
As bachelor-Profs then, it was customary for some of us, to go out on regular jaunts to the city either for a movie or just for a day out in the evenings, whenever we could!
One fine evening, after having had my evening snacks and tea in the Selaiyur Hall Mess, and I was busy flipping through some of the newspapers that were around, that my Prof-friend and a resident staff from another Hall, called me up, and asked me if we could go for a great movie that had recently released in a Multiplex in the City that evening!
‘hey, it’s already 5.50!’ I tell him!
‘but the movie starts only at 6.30 yaar!’
Do you think we could get ready in no time and make it to the movies this short time?’ I ask.
‘Why not??? If we think we can, we CAN!’ he says with conviction and determination.
I had the hobson’s choice! To rise to the challenge was my impulsive decree of the evening.
It was six pm when the evening music time was gradually coming to a close in the precincts of good ol’ Selaiyur, when we both kickstarted our Splendor Plus!
Six pm in Tambaram! And any sane Selaiyurian would by all means tell you that thirty minutes was highly impossible! or atleast daunting to the core!!!
I really had to break the back of my ‘paavam’ little beast the poor Hero Honda Splendor! (it’s NOT a Pulsar!!!)
Asking my Splendor Plus to go at 100 is like pushing water uphill with a tardy rake!
No way would it oblige!
There were at least a dozen traffic signals that we had to cruise through, and after crossing a decent six of them, we were nearing the grand Pallavaram signal, when we saw the unfortunate thing unfold!
Well, the traffic light was showing amber! (well, yes, before it could turn red)
My pillion-buddy says, “macha, pull it off! You can do it! Just move on! It might take just micro seconds to whiz past!”
He coaxes and goads me, even as I am still caught in a double bind, between the proverbial devil and the deep sea!!!
But my conscience’s diktat got the better of me, and i applied JAM on the brakes!!! rightaway!
You see, my pillion-buddy least expected this sudden momentary swing of mind on my part, and he was caught off-guard!
He being a little on the fluffy side, (Selaiyur Mess?) I bet you can now imagine the scene!
I applied jam on the brakes and the next micro-second my pillion-buddy, was sitting majestically pretty almost on my head with little intention of getting down all by himself!
From a distance, I could grab a wink of the traffic cop sincerely ‘busy’ with his daily evening routine of getting potential sponsors for his next cuppa coffee! Before he could make us sponsor his cuppa, our friend was ably assisted by a few good samartians in getting down, and I was almost chutneyfied to say the least in the process!
Then, I told him, ‘macha, I think we can’t make it today!’
Still he persisted! So we proceeded!
Well, well, well, en route our eyes landed on something to which we were seasoned regulars! - our all-time favourite Restaurant Buhari, was busy attracting customers with delectable irresistible offers on dine-ins!
There was no way we could dash through this offer! Of course, his taste buds (and obviously mine too!) started working over-time, and so we both decided to call it quits to Devi, and instead settled for the spicier one!
We ordered and ordered! By the time we finished it all, a decent 90 minutes had flitted us by!
But we were one happy lot when we made our way back to good ol’ Selaiyur, with tasty reminiscences of the tandoori chicken and chop suey and what not!
The next morning, as we both were taking our morning walks in the play fields, he quipped,
“Yes!” He said, ‘Macha, can we make it this evening to…
I had always known his grand passion for cinema! So eagerly waiting to give an obliging nod, I continued…
‘To?’ I asked, in all eagerness…
“To the King Metro restaurant!!!!” he said nonchalantly without an iota of fret or agitation!
He had totally resolved and made up his mind!
And so did I ;-)
PS: this post by the way, is a noble tribute and a nostalgic salute to the good ol’ bachelor-days and its attendant discursive practices ;-)