Short Story: Ginger Chai

gingerchai This is my first attempt for writing a love story, which I am really bad at. Mani Padma (from Ginger Chai) challenged me to write a love story a few days ago, it is not a real great read, but a little feeble attempt to take a taste in this genre. Please give your honest opinion…
Cheers,
Sid. *fingers crossed*





Breathe in. Breathe out. Damm, this is so easy when you are not tensed. Why is this clerk talking so much time.
‘Will you hurry up?’ I asked the clerk. My finger nails were tapping the counter in excitement.
My name is Shailaja, 30, single and employed, in short a perfect girl for the aunties, mammies to constantly remind me that my days are waning out, that I have to find someone before it is impossible for them to. It is not that I don’t want to get married, but I should get some proper match, isn’t it? All they show me is either short, tall, long nose, meaning some imperfection in some way or the other.
I am not at all hopeless romantic and I am definitely not going to kiss a frog and wait for him to become prince charming.
‘Did you get it?’ I ask the personals counter, anxiety increasing, breathe in, breathe out. I have a panic disorder, i get panic attack when I am tensed and excited.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
‘Madam, this is a personal record of a person, we need an approval for it, please wait,’ the clerk replies. Why are these clerks so dumb? I wonder.
Obviously you have joined this story in the middle, this is definitely not the end, I won’t let this be the end. The story began six months ago. This story began on the streets on Andheri with me running behind the bus,
‘Stop,’ I shouted at the bus as I chased it but it did not stop. The buses in Mumbai follow strict protocol more than the army.

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That day my bus to Prabhadevi was missed and I could not wait for another hour for other bus so I climbed the bus to Mahim instead. My grand plan was to take a taxi till Prabhadevi from Mahim. I was a recent fine arts graduate and was currently in a intensive mode of job hunt. After many tries, I managed to get one job interview with a magazine in Prabhadevi, this was my first job interview after sitting six months at home.

The bus was full with only a seat next to a man. He was in his thirties, baby-faced and a little fat man, he smiled as I sat down next to him.
Sitting in the bus, I started getting nervous as panic built in me. The excitement chasing the bus must have triggered it somewhere on the inside.

‘Are you ok?’ the man asked.
‘I…’ I replied breathing hard, ‘I am fine…just exhausted.’ Men are such perverts.
‘Today is your interview, I think,’ he asked smiling.
‘Yes,’ I answered, my breathe becoming normal, gosh how to avoid it.
‘You are nervous uh?’ he asked quietly.
‘Yes I am, what is your problem?’ I asked rather rudely.
‘Just this,’ he smiled again and replied calmly, ‘You are clenching my hand with your fist since last fifteen minutes.’
‘Oh, I am so sorry,’ this is embarrassing.
‘Hi, I am Moncy,’ he said, ‘and you are…?’
After the formal introductions the ice was broken and I realize he was not all the guy I pictured him to be. He was jolly, sweet and chubby like a large teddy bear… wait I did not say that.
After twenty minutes Moncy wished me luck and we separated our ways and I reached my interview.
At every step of your life, universe is planning something, you never know who you bump into at the next corner.
‘Madam,’ the clerk called out holding the receiver in his hand, ‘What is your name?'Shailaja…’ I nearly screamed 
'Acha,’ and he continued on phone.

2648c88e6655f435f6547686d8cf92df As I was walking past the market in Andheri after few days, I met Moncy sitting at the chai-house on the street.

‘Hey Hi,’ I said, ‘Surprised to see you here.’
‘I live here on west,’ he said, ‘You should try this Ginger chai, its very nice.’
‘No,’ I replied, ‘I don’t drink tea.’
‘Have some cream roll,’ he offered me. He offered one cream roll to me and started dipping the other one in his ginger chai.
‘So how did the interview go?’ he asked.
‘Bad, very bad,’ I replied, ‘I fainted in middle of the interview. They did not select me.’
‘You should try the breathing exercise you know to ease your panic,’ he suggested, ‘breathe in, breathe out.’
He did the exercise and gazed at me, I realized after few seconds he wanted me to do it. I did.
‘Practice it, so you are back to job hunt?’ he asked.
‘Yes,’ I shrugged.
‘You know, there is a place vacant in our office for a professional blogger,’ he said, ‘why don’t you try there?’
Writer. Blogger. What the hell, I need a job.
‘What is the mans name?’ the clerk asked still holding the receiver.
‘Moncy, his flight was today.’
The next day I went to his office for an interview and luckily had no panic attacks. The company was a small advertising agency which dealt with all sorts of advertising, primarily on the internet. It was as if destiny, I was easily selected into the job and I started working with Moncy.
Moncy had a boyish charm and was famous in his office as ‘Golu-molu.’ The Chotu who brought tea for us at regular interval always used to give a special chai to him, ‘Yeh lo saab aapki aadrak ki chai.’(Take your ginger tea)
The office was cheerful and was fun working with, my panic attacks where less. Me and Moncy used to share a taxi while going home, in the morning he used to wait for me at the bus stop and we were having great fun together.
We discussed on many topics ranging from marriage, world peace, sex, movies those forty minutes in whole day were full of argument between us.
One day while early in the morning he offered me free treat of his ginger Chai.
‘What is so special in ginger chai?’ I asked him.
‘I like all kinds of chai, but I prefer a simple, clean Ginger Chai, with no spices. The ginger and warm milk in the chai both help reduce the effects of caffeine.  What this chai does is cleanse and strengthen your digestive system,’ he explained raising his cup.
‘Cheers.’
I had never laughed so much in my life before. I remember him sitting there on the bench of the chai-shop dipping cream roll in his tea, early in the morning. He used to wait for me there.
‘Haanji madam,’ the clerk said, ‘He is going today at around eleven, this is his flight information,’ he handed me the paper, ‘Are you his relative?’
‘No time for it,’ I dashed out of the office and raced on the street, ‘Taxi’ I screamed on top of my voice.
‘Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport,’ I told him hiring his cab, ‘If you make it fast, I will give me more twenty.’
Eleven, means he must already there at the airport.
He always used to tease me on my passion of Hindi films. Specially, DDLJ, like who doesn’t like DDLJ?
‘The movie is about life, the way both people fight odds to be with each other - and how they do win everyone with respect,’ I explained him, ‘I will always wait for my Raj,’ I told him.
‘But the movie is really bad,’ he said, ‘I mean who travels such a long distance just to convince parents?’ Confused Heart
‘My friend- went to Canada - to just convince my uncle - to let him marry his girlfriend and they've been married three years now,’ I argued.
‘I cannot believe,’ he said with a smirk.
‘I don’t want you to..’ I stormed out of the room.
‘There are no happy endings in love stories in real life…’ he shouted behind me.
Our life was perfect like tom and jerry, best friends and even worst enemies.
Everything was normal and fine in our life when…
‘Madam, western express way toh jam hai,’ the taxi driver replied, explaining that there is traffic jam on western expressway.
‘Kahi aur se le lo,’ I replied telling him to take somewhere else.
‘Woh lamba jayega, paisa badega, meter se,’ he honestly explained that the rent will be more for the longer route.
He became by best friend in last six months, he was funny, charming and yet cutely fat. He used to send morning good morning emails, funny jokes all day long. We used to go for lunch together.
That night we had to work late on a US project which he was leading. He very sweetly dropped me off at home.  That night a not at all good surprise, my mother was visiting me. The moment she saw him, she started drilling me with questions, who is he? what does he do? is he good? does he earn? grrr mom.
She lectured me on how I should get married soon and if I do not like the people she showed I should find someone myself. The lecture went on for the next hour. Mom.
‘Madam airport agaya,’ the taxi driver had magically transported me sooner than I expected. I still had some more time to catch up with him without his flight leaving.
I ran out of cab, in anxiety I forgot to pay the cab driver who chased me, he caught with me immediately,
‘I …. I…’ I couldn’t talk now, the tension was building, I paid his money and ran inside. Hullo where do we get the entrance, damm these security checks.
Apparently my story was coming in an end completely Hindi film style, I was running towards the airport to stop someone, was he my lover? was he my friend? this thing we have to sort out…I have to sort it out,
‘Madam, you cannot cross the partition if you have no boarding pass,’ the guard replied politely stopping me with a gun on his back.
‘I…’ my breathing was becoming heavier, just then I saw him walking towards the boarding point, my breath was heavy, I was panting and a sudden panic seized me, I had to call him… ‘Mo…Mon…’ I panted, breathing hard and I do not know if I managed to shout his name or no, a final blackout and I was knocked out. Darkness fell before my eyes.
Breathe in. Breathe out. My foot. My mom had pestered me a lot on the topic on marriage, in the morning I was chatting with few friends in the cafeteria about it,
‘But why do you have to worry ya?’ asked Sudhir, ‘You already have one.’
‘One?’ I asked, ‘Who?’
‘Arey Golu Molu,’ he laughed, ‘Its not official yet, but everybody knows.’
‘Madowat,’ I replied, ‘I never saw him as a boyfriend. He is not exactly a prince charming is he? he is so fat and clumsy…totally not my type’ now in the whole world, I say millions of things per day, but, Moncy had to stand behind me just when I said the line, I jerked my neck with a guilty feeling in my mind. He said nothing and went to order his Ginger Chai.
I went after him, but he was quiet the whole day. In fact he did spoke very less for next three days and one day he did not come to office. I never got a chance to apologize to him or even talk to him.
He kept avoiding me.
When I inquired I realized, he was being sent to US for project for a year. I felt real bad, I did not know his house, so I was inquiring with the personal departments of our office. I learned that he was already moving to US today, so I had to run all across streets of Mumbai to talk to him at the airport… just at the last moment…I had a panic attack which is the reason I am here… oh wait, I am here? Has he left?
I suddenly open my eyes, ‘Where am I?’ hoping it did not sound too filmy.
‘Take some rest madam,’ the doctor said, ‘You had a panic attack. You are weak.
Shit, so close, so close. He was there, I saw him… if only I could…
‘So, what exactly were you trying to do?’ Moncy’s voice surprised me, I jerked my head and saw him sitting on the stool dipping a cream roll in ginger chai, ‘Trying some Hindi film ending stunt?’
‘You? You missed the flight?’ I ask.
‘Apparently I did yes, I was just curious why where you chasing me?’ he asked me, ‘They serve good ginger chai here also…’
Exactly, why did I chase him around half the city? Why did I race here? Was this it? Was this kuch kuch hota hai? Damm, it sounded so easy in the film, what is it?
‘Well…,’ I tried to justify, but nothing came to my mind, damm, is this love? ‘I dunno.’
‘You chased around half the city for a fat and clumsy man, who is not even your type of prince charming?’ he asked laughing.
‘I think…’ well, how hard can it be?
‘Don’t answer…’ he smiled and held my hand, ‘I think we have to rethink over our relationship. You need rest and you need time.’
‘I…I…’ damm, where is my grammar?
‘Would you like to come with me?’ he asked, ‘You know sometimes… for ginger chai?’
P.s. The excellent image downloaded from the internet. Special thanks to Vidhu for explaining me DDLJ, I never understood it yet. Also thank you Neha for correcting the mistakes about Mumbai city.
P.P.s DDLJ is Dilwale Dulaniya Le Jayenge, a hindi romantic comedy half Indian girls are crazy about.

37 comments

  1. you fucker!!!

    this is soooo good!

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  2. Awww sweet as sugar....or maybe ginger chai? :P (although that's not sweet technically)
    Made for a lovely read Sid.Just a few typos to fix....guess you didn't do a thorough editing.
    And btw I'm not a big fan of DDLJ. :D
    Good write.

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  3. Wow man ! First I should thank Mani for egging you to write a love story! And see what do we have here?!A Fantastic! Stupendous! Magnanimous! Colossal! Superb! Astounding story! I loved the pace, i loved the way you moved to flash back and present - a perfect editing! A well brewed Ginger Chai ! I never knew Sid Ravan has this style of writing in one of his head! Bring it on more ! :) :D

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  4. Though the notification ossum was cut in my browser,the story you wrote is full ossum.
    Pacing was decent,and neatly wrapped.Extra cheese on the scrambled egg for you !

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  5. :), I'll tell you my opinion later on BK, this comment is to show that I did read it first thing in the morning. :D


    .
    .
    .
    shilpa

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  6. loved the flow of ur story:)

    and this line //Our life was perfect like tom and jerry, best friends and even worst enemies.//

    but expected a better ending. gr8 attempt indeed. keep writing:)

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  7. Great story! liked it!
    Especially from a guys POV... This goes on to show that even non-handsome guys can score! (except the gal was panic prone)

    Thoroughly enjoyed the story...

    On a broader point... What the F is wrong with you guys? That Thriller guy Karthik is writing funny, philosophical stuff... And now Funny guy Sid is going hopelessly romantic!


    I guess the recession did that to you! lol

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  8. I will comment later. But I was beeing called by everyone and telling me to read this.

    The first thing I noticed is that you are very much influenced by the Mani Padma's style of writing. Nothing bad in it. But, one thing is sure Mani Padma should also learn a few things from you. Like you wrote from a girl's POV being a boy.
    Well researched. I will give you my final verdict after 4th.

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  9. This is really good, great actually.

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  10. Dude, That was seriously not your type of writing.. But the fact is I loved it, sid.. That was really sweet. :P:D, So is it true? are you falling in love with the story? Just say yes and admit it man,

    BTW, You promised me a guest post. Remember?

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  11. After all even the epic Ravan was multi talented :P so finally our kalyug ravan too expresses his other heads ;)

    Nothing to be worried :P Aal izz Well ;)

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  12. haha liked the story Mr. Ginger Man :P

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  13. Politically correct comment- Oh Sid! Oh Sid! I am so glad that I challenged you. Oh Sid! I am proud of you.
    My comment- Remember the martial arts match in Hotshot part deux, between Charlie Sheen and that karate kid, and remember what charlie sheen's opponent said and how before dropping off defeated. Yes! thats what i want to say- You Win!
    For the detailed analysis- G talk
    Mani

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  14. It's beautiful. 21st century ishtyle!! :)

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  15. It's beautiful. 21st century ishtyle!! :)

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  16. @Sammy
    I can see that u saw this story sweet...u r a hopeless romantic...:P

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  17. @Lakshmi
    Naaahiii...no love stories...:D

    thanks man... u liked it...den its final.. :D

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  18. @Gyaanban
    I owe u one...extra cheese...wuu huu!!!! yay yay yay...

    ReplyDelete
  19. @Bangles
    First Welcome to Sidoscope here. Hope you enjoy it here.

    Second... on dis site, don't expect anything at all...;) thats the beauty of it...nothing is normal...:P

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  20. @Saurabh
    Dude main hoon na... i got a good girlfriend ya...duh uh...:D

    Ok no I am not a hopelessly romantic...mani challenged me and I simple love challenges....:D

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  21. @Pram
    I am a good copy cat of authors style of writing...:D

    okie...waiting for ur response...:D

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  22. @Raji
    If you love it... i love it too...:D

    koi shak??

    Btw...i will b finishing it off tonight...:D

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  23. @Avada
    Gee m not d ginger man, he the one sitting above u...:D

    ReplyDelete
  24. hey this one's really nice. i read it just now, empty stomach in the morning... was bt to get something to eat as i was dying of hunger just before i started reading but somehow finished reading it till the end before munching nything (and am managing to post the comment before i faint ;))

    good one... inspires me to try my hand at writing a story... will give it a try this week n let u know :)

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  25. Very different take by and on sidoscope! Well, but why Ginger Chai? any special reason? :)

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  26. @Anuradha
    Welcome to Sidoscope...as I am flattered of your dedication to visit the blog, please next time have proper food and then come.
    :P

    yay... write write scribble scribble...:D

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  27. @Aativas
    I tot it should be perfect to write same name as the blog she writes, also, i like dipping cream roll in ginger chai...:D its tasty....:D

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  28. Hey initially i thought you writing about me....except for the ginger chai wala....coz hav not found anyone still like him.
    But awesome story .....or should i say love story. It need no typical words " I love u" to express themselves....only the feelings and actions explained it all. Good one!

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  29. I want to make a movie on this!!!

    ReplyDelete

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