May 21, 2009 @ 3:43 am
It is 7:45 am and I have just jumped out of bed, staring in horror at the clock which wasn’t supposed to be so ahead in time.
I squint my eyes and double check the chrome minute hand before my brain finally registers and confirms the time. It is indeed 7:45. Suddenly, my cellphone starts beeping. It takes me a moment, just a fleeting moment, to understand that this is not an alarm tone and instead it is someone wanting to communicate.
“Hello,” I say in my modified non-sleepy voice so the other person doesn’t really think I wake up this late.
“Dude, can you make it to the Egg Factory for breakfast?” says the Devil.
A pause before I can comprehend. He continues “We shall have an omelette dude”
The Devil calling this early in the morning? I couldn’t believe that he, of all the people in this world, had woken up this early. There is usually one thing that you could always win your bet on – The Devil not waking up early in the morning. That myth has now been shattered.
“Sure man, I will try to be there by 8:30 or so,” I reply, still maintaining my non-sleepy voice.
“Dude, I am already on my way,” he announces with, what seemed to me, a flourish of victory at having woken up earlier than anyone else in this city.
“Oh ok,” I say and hang up. A mad rush follows and I manage to get out of home by about 8:30. I wanted that omelette, of course.
I look back in the rear view mirror as I exit one of the traffic signals leading from the front, with the entire herd of metal and fuel closing in on me. I feel the traffic build around me and slowly ensnaring me in its ever expanding embrace. After dodging a few small cars and many not-so-small cars, I finally reach Brigade Road, that former heaven of a 20 year old me.
I pick up my cellphone and call up the Devil. No response. What ever happened to my omelette, I wonder, as I move towards the end of Brigade Road.
The parking lots are empty and suddenly I get the urge to park my car in one of those empty lots. Now, you may not appreciate this urge of mine. But trust me, parking on Brigade road is a joy which you can only understand when you go on this road on busy Saturday evenings and fail to find a single parking spot for over an hour. So yeah, I slide my car between two slanted white lines and halt a few inches before the yellow and black striped pavement. A security man in uniform appears out of nowhere with a bag of five rupee coins. He asks my car number, punches in a few keys in the parking meter, which does its gargling sound and sputters out a white ticket. I place the ticket back in my car, cross the road and walk up to the coffee shop in the basement.
When I order my coffee, the Devil calls up and asks “Where are you man?”
Before I can answer he informs me that he was done with breakfast and was already back in his office. I didn’t want to do without my omelette for the day of course. But heck, this coffee shop did not serve omelettes.
“Anything egg based?”, I inquired trying not to look too inquizitive.
“Egg puff sir,” replied the lady at the counter, who was wearing a white coat similar to those worn by junior doctors in pathology labs.
I throw out the pathology bit from my mind and order one of those egg puffs with my coffee. Omelettes can wait, but I can at least aim to get a part of the deal with an egg puff.
My coffee arrives and so does the egg puff, which for the un-initiated is a half-boiled egg covered with some spicy gravy and finally wrapped with flaky stuff that is usually found in, well, puffs.
I finish these two and as I get up a young man approaches and starts cleaning the table making me seem like a baby who didn’t know how to eat a flaky egg puff. I rush back out on to Brigade road. The traffic has increased but the parking lots are still empty. A thought of coming here on a Saturday morning and parking my car for the entire day strikes me. An evil thought I decide, also slightly influenced by the amount of parking money involved in that plan.
I drive my car back into mainstream traffic and 20 minutes later swerve into the road leading to my office. Right ahead of me, a car had managed to brush a TVS-50 (which, for the uninitiated, is a tiny scooterette with 50 cc of power. The uninitiated take up a lot of my time explaining) and a card board box had fallen upside down on the road. When the TVS rider walks up and turns the card board box around, a few things from the box fall on the road. To my extreme surprise at concepts of probability and coincidences, those things are nothing but egg puffs.
“What is with this stuff and me today morning?” I think to myself and then I notice that the rider was picking each one of those puffs from the road and putting them back in the box.
Someone was going to have an egg puff today that had touched an asphalted road. A road which many cars had passed over. Cars which had driven over slush and mud and sundry other things. Someone who had an evil thought of blocking parking lots in the city might end up eating that egg puff. Who knows?
I pass by the flaky crumbs which were strewn on the road and enter office, with thoughts of karma and omelettes mixed in a heady combination readying me for the day.