Saturday, October 14, 2006

Akele akele?

A gal struggling with a wisdom tooth that has been playing 'Kabhi khushi kabhi gum' for the last three days is one hungry gal. I have had to cut my meals in half. No, I'm not dieting, but that's all I can manage with half a mouth. Chewing food with only one set of premolars and molars is exhausting. I can open my mouth enough to talk, but not enough to eat normal-sized bites of food. So I take longer to eat. Worse, I was one of the trainers in a 2-day editorial training programme on Thursday/Friday so I had to talk a lot.

So between half the amount of food and twice the amount of talking, I was one hungry gal.

On Thursday, after finishing my training session, I dashed to university to attend class. I was running short of time and yet starving, so I picked up a sandwich on the way. I got to class at 6:20 pm and tried to eat whatever amount I could eat in the ten minutes I had before the class would start. And as I sat there eating it and watched my classmates walk in and out of the class, I had a sense of deja vu.

Memories of my school days rushed to me when the guys in my class would flick my lunchbox and gobble up everything in it. In fact, some of them considered it their birthright to do so. They loved Mom's cooking. Due to Dad's constant transfers, Mom had picked up a lot of yummy recipes from different states in India. She'd get up really early and carefully pack my lunch, and I'd have a surprise waiting for me every day. But of course, I'd have to unwillingly share it with the guys almost every day, and sometimes even have to give up the whole thing. They didn't care even if it was half-eaten. If they saw it, it was theirs.

The most common pick-up (lunchbox) line they used was "Kya Sayesha, akele akele?" followed by a big grin. Literally translated it means, "What Sayesha, eating by yourself eh?" but what it actually meant was "Gimme that. NOW."

Of course there were other lines too.

"Aur Sayesha, aaj Aunty ne kya banaya?" ("Hey Sayesha, what did Aunty make today?")

"Sayesha, mere liye thoda sa bachana. Hindi class mein khaunga. Sir hadd se zyada bore karte hain." ("Sayesha, leave some for me. I'll eat in the Hindi class. The teacher bores the hell outta me.")

"Dhokla???!! Arre wah, aaj dhokla laayi hai??? Chal idhar la." ("Dhokla? You got dhokla today? Pass it here.")

"Arre wah! Dosa? Tera ek, mera ek, theek hai?" ("Wow! Dosa? One for you, one for me, ok?")

"Abbe dekho, Sayesha chhole bhature laayi hai! Sayesha, yeh ke Parle-G ka packet, tiffin box la idhar." ("Guys look, Sayesha's brought chhole bhature today. Here, you can have my biscuit packet, pass us the lunch box.")

"Arre! Aam ka achaar?? Ber ka achaar kahan gaya??" ("What? Mango pickle?? Where's the berry pickle?") *indignant look*

Me - "Khatam ho gaya." ("It's finished.")

"Tuney khatam kar diya???" ("You finished it??) *angry glare*

Me - "Abbe gadhe! Khatam tuney kar diya!" ("You donkey! YOU finished it!") *angry glare back*

Once in a while, I'd bother to protest.

"Oye! Tum log roz mera tiffin kha jaate ho. Kabhi khud kyun nahin laate?" ("Hey! You guys gobble up my lunch every day. Why don't you bring your own?")

"Kya?? Tiffin box aur hum?? Mard tiffin box nahin laate!" ("What? Lunchbox and us?? Real men don't bring lunchboxes!")

Me - "Achha? Aur mard ladkiyon ka tiffin box maar lete hain, haan?" ("Oh yeah? But real men have no qualms flicking a girl's lunchbox, eh?")

"Ladki? Kaun ladki? Tu toh bhai hai bhai!" ("Girl?? What girl?? You're the bhai!")

Sheesh. So I rolled my eyes and gnashed my teeth and watched them eat what was rightfully mine.

Back to the present. So as I sat there, thinking about all this, some of my classmates walked in and greeted me. The usual formal greetings.

"Hi Sayesha, how was your day?"

"Hi Sayesha, how is work going?"

"Hi Sayesha, how's the thesis going?"

As I smiled at them and supplied the polite and rehearsed answers, I sighed. Truth was - I missed the guys back in school really badly. I missed the way they asserted their rights to my homework, my pencilbox, my water bottle, my lunchbox, everything. In the last 8 years that I have lived here in Singapore, I have not really seen this kinda sense of 'haq' that I am talking about.

And in that moment, as I sat there holding my sandwich and
staring into space, suddenly I felt very sad. I felt my eyes get moist. I wished that one of those schooltime dhakkans from my class would just drop by, grin at me and say the magic words.

"Kya Sayesha, akele akele?"



37 comments:

The Pirate said...

Gold!! :D

Iday said...

SILVER.
now, off i go to read the post :D

Iday said...

oh no - sad post.
i can understand what u say :)

jab thum mere saath pani puri khaane ke liye aaogi na, thab main ye karoonga!!! tere ko ekh bhi pani puri nahin milega :P

btw - howz the W-teeth?!?!

Bivas said...

what's up with everyone goin back down memory lane n writing abt old friends n gangs? :-)
But yeah, the tiffin breaks in school were a looooot of fun...i remember this one friend of mine who used to bring wonderful aam kaa achar and would invariably always finish off the aloo ki bhaji in my box.
But thank that tooth of yours that it is growing 'akele akele' ;-)

Tarun. said...

Lunch has been no issue for fast 10-12 years, I use to come home for lunch in lunch break.
But did have enough college when I got into engg.
I use to straight away go for sweets.
I love sweets.... u know ladus' naan-khaata-e u name it and I love it.
But some people were gracious enough to bring back sweets for me whenever they use to be back from home.*sweet again*
Any ways lagat hai wisedom tooth ne tumhe muh todh jawab diya hai.

Basanti said...

Kya Sayesha? Akele Akele? We also had to take lunch to school. We had to take full fledged lunch because our school timings were from 8 am to 3 pm! :P :P

Aur because we had to have a regular meal, we didn't get much of variety :P but on saturdays when we had just snacks because timings were till 1 pm, we had such fights too! :P :P

Aur haan.. just because i cant come there, i want you to send the sandwich to me NOW! :P

shub said...

soo cute :D

Rebellion said...

Sash dear,

>:D<
"I knew looking back at the tears would make me laugh, but I didn’t know that looking back at the laughs would make me cry."

That best describes you, and me too! How I miss all the old days!!! Wish I could start going to school all over again :(

As for your tooth, I think its high time you visit a dentist bacha :)

Take care,
Aarti

Vinod R Iyer said...

Well I share my dabba now too. Just that school frnds have changed to office frnds.

Just a clue for you:

Yesterday is History
Tomorrow is Mystery
Today is the 'Present'
That's why we call it a gift !!:)

nanuseena said...

Even i used to take tiffin box and my friends used to finish it off... But sometimes even i used to finish their boxes.....

But nothing can replace college and school days...."aisa yaadon ka mausam chala..... kahan meri jeans aur guitar"[purani jeans].

Nice post...!

Sudeep said...

i get 5 min for every blog after so many days n see a video posted here with a still lady on it n all i get is Salman Khan.. sheesh
wht a waste of time!!

will be back ltrz now.. :|

Anonymous said...

wow! really made me emotional.its just not one thing rite, there is a lot that we miss about our past.

well, as for the eating tgoether part, i really think 'it happens only in india'. aur hostel mein toh log kutton kee tarah toot padte hain. and no, this post is not going to make me give all my eating stuffs to these bhukkads.

:D

chaliye bye. and yaad rakhiye, jaan jaaye, par shaan naa jaaye. kuch bhi ho jaaye, you wont go to a dentist, and thats about it.

satish

chandu said...

making everyone nostalgic
eh?
:(

come back to india :P

everyone scattered to find whats best for themselves after the school...

Ideally, there should be some mechanisam that keeps the friends at a place till the end of world. (not for those who believe being far away from loved ones is always better)

rt said...

really nostalgic post...

Prayank said...

nice post ...

and all the best for your struggle with wisdom (tooth) ;-)

asterix said...

kuch cheerful likho bhai next time :( idhar aapka pain saha nahi jaata

Anonymous said...

Arre, that was your mom's magic... But who would 'risk' asking for things you prepared? :))

Anyways, seriously, whether you are in India or anywhere else, those days will never come back :)

Cheerful post next time, ok?

-Sowmya

Sakshi said...

Mummy ka khana nahi tha isliye Bhai koi bola nahi..

Kroopa Shah (Kr00pz) said...

I thought I should let you know - http://kroopa.blogspot.com
Thanks!!

tgfi is just too lazy to login said...

awww. those were the days...i miss em too......
hows the tooth? get it yanked out, end of story.

Sayesha said...

#Pirate,
:)

#Iday,
//tere ko ekh bhi pani puri nahin milega :P

WHAT???? Hmmmphh! :/

//howz the W-teeth?!?!

Better... much better... thanks for asking :)

#Bivas,
Yeah man... those were the days! :)

#Light-House,
Oh yeah! I remember the strange disappearance of the kaju ki barfi in three seconds on hostel days :P

#Basanti,
//Aur haan.. just because i cant come there, i want you to send the sandwich to me NOW! :P

Hahahaha! Aur jab tak tujh tak pahunchega... it won't be just a sandwich... there will be some life forms on it! ;)

#Shub,
:)

#Aarti,
Haan yaar... gosh I miss those days so much man... kya din they... mauj masti, no worries... sighhhhhhhhhh! :(

//As for your tooth, I think its high time you visit a dentist bacha :)

Hehe... don't worry, I have given an ultimatum to the tooth - seedhe seedha baahar aa warna.... :|

#Vinod,
//Well I share my dabba now too. Just that school frnds have changed to office frnds.

Exactly! That's why sometimes I feel envious of those who're working in India, because they still have the sense of 'haq' I mentioned... here everything's too formal :(

#Nanuseena,
Yeah, the girls used to share but the guys would just take off with our lunchboxes! :D

#Sudeep,
Arre yaar.... us video ko dhyaan se dekh... Lalit found out that Sallu is lip-synching yaar... :( I just hope he's lip-synching to his own recorded voice! :/

#Satish,
//aur hostel mein toh log kutton kee tarah toot padte hain.

Hahahahaha! I can totally identify! :D

//jaan jaaye, par shaan naa jaaye. kuch bhi ho jaaye, you wont go to a dentist, and thats about it.

Egg-jactly! (I hope!) :O

#Chandu,
//Ideally, there should be some mechanisam that keeps the friends at a place till the end of world. (not for those who believe being far away from loved ones is always better)

Hmmm... I dunno man... sometimes distances are better but sometimes you just miss very close friends so bad, you wish they could be your neighbours for life...

#RT,
Yeah... got too senti... :)

#Prayank,
Struggle with wisdom?? Bhai ka insult?? Mera daant theek ho jaaye, I will achhe se khabar lo! :/

#Asterix,
Cheerful?? Hmm... cheerful mood hoga jab toh cheerful post bhi hoga :)

#Sowmya,
//Arre, that was your mom's magic... But who would 'risk' asking for things you prepared? :))

Sheesh! Awwal toh I didn't make that sandwich, the staff at Subway sandwich did. Doosri baat ki meri cooking ki insult??? Sab log mere tooth pain ka faayda utha rahe hain... waaaa! :'(

#Sakshi,
Hahahaha! Naah, yahan aiseich hai... :|

#Kroopa,
Gosh!!! Wow, what an honour! A post on me?!! Really really touched! :)

#TGFI,
//get it yanked out, end of story.

:O :O :O :O :O

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Hmm... that level of friendship is difficult to build as we grow older or maturer. These days at my university when I am having something and a friend comes by, I invite him/her. Usually if they ask for a second helping, I respond, "Iss mein poochhne ki kya baat hai?". But right then they walk into a trap: so that the next time they bring something, I will go up and start gobbling without permission ;)

chanakya said...

hey looking at the list of things that ur mom made. If u can replicate tham and the taste i don't think u will ever have to bother someone not jumping on u for ur lunch, no matter which foreign country u are in.
Scholl lunces were fun but for me the best were during hostel. I would go over to Calcutta during the weekend and then return on Sunday evening and there waiting would be my wingmates. My box of swets never reached my room :((. The best was once though when we locked out the guy who had brought sweets from his own room and devoured what must have been something like 30 rasogullas between 4 of us. Needless to say we werent havng the best of times the next morning.

dharmu said...

bhai, even i miss my friends.
here, no one cares to pull my hair, chase me around, get into silly arguments, pull hands.
not a single one.

Iday said...

//WHAT???? Hmmmphh! :/
Arre yaar - jab main thumhare pani puri cheen lenge toh thum mere sare ke sare khaana cheen lo na...
tumhe woh 'haq' nahin hai kya?!?!
lol :D

Tarun. said...

I loathe kaju ki barfi never had clue of that, but I had to carry half a kilo of it coz my friend loved it.
But then we exchanged it with something he4 got and I loved.

Di said...

ashooo..ye le a bada sa hug..hope it helps.. :(

saty said...

...jeevan ke safar mey rahi..
Milte hai bichd jaane ko...
..aur dey jaate hai yaade...
Tanhaiee mey tadpa neyko...
;)

asha said...

arrey i'm surprised u couldn't figure this one out. who wld want to share a sandwich. khaney mein vahi skool waali cheezein ley jaao and u'll apney aap find 1000 new dhakkans fighting their way into yr dibba. i'm game for the achaars, all of them.

and let go of that wisdom tooth if it is bothering u so much. aapke 3 ke saath mere 3 ka wisdom bhi jod denge. kaam chalaa hee lenge, OK!.

consider this next sentence of mine to be a hangover from yr bollywood post. - ussey jaaney do. agar woh sachmuch tumhaare liye (zindagi bhar saath nibhaane ke liye ) banaa hai to aur dard nahi dega. agar nahi to woh tumhaarey liye banaa hee nahi tha (haa haa haa haaa)

asha

Shekhar said...

Ekdum senti kar diya hamein bhi. Bhai, school ki yaad aa gayi. :) Especially all the ruckus in the school canteen !! Kya chilla chilli hoti thi. Those DEFINITELY were the best days of my life.

Bhaarat said...

Yeh to bilkul sahi hai Bhai log kabhie school mein tiffin nahin laate. The appropriate term for "Haq" in this context is "Huzzat".

karthik said...

Nice post, took everyone of us back to the memory line,
like your idea of different font colour for Present and Past

Anonymous said...

wo bhi kya din the! :-D

--Strider

Inder said...

// Real men don't bring lunchboxes
haha... that could very well become a quote in bavaria's next ad in its '"real men don't ..." series' :P

mysorean said...

Great post Bhai! Really Great Post!

Schooldays will always be the best days!

This is just such an awesome post.

I almost shed tears!

Romeo said...

Kya sayesha, akele akele?

Sayesha said...

#Sudipta,
//But right then they walk into a trap: so that the next time they bring something, I will go up and start gobbling without permission ;)

Hahahaha! Clever! :D

#Chanakya,
Hahahahaaha! Boys will be boys! :D

#Dharmu,
:'(

#Iday,
I dun want khana! I want pani (puri)! :/

#Light-house,
:D

#Di,
Thanks! It did! :)

#Saty,
:)

#Asha,
Baap re... kya Bolly-drama kiya aapne! My tooth is fine now :P

#Shekhar,
:'(

#Bhaarat,
Wow, learnt something new :)

#Karthik,
Thanks :)

#Strider,
Sighhh..........

#Inder,
Hehehehe! :D

#Mysorean,
Thanks dear :)

//I almost shed tears!

Me too! :'(

#Romeo,
Akele hum akele tum :)