RIP Christy Mathew Phillip

This afternoon while at lunch, I was browsing through Facebook while eating my sandwich and came across a post from a priest who had posted on the profile page of a guy named Christy. From the way he posted it, in that weird Christian priesthood manner, even though he never said the words “passed away” or “died” you know what was up. I had no clue as to what had happened and this guy is only 23-24 years old. I tried finding out from the comments but couldn’t make out for a long time. I texted a few people who were close to him in order to find out what had happened.

I came to know that Christy passed away in a car accident in the early hours when he and a friend crashed with a truck. From what I hear, he died on the spot. Christy was a trainee of mine in my current office, though he left for higher studies last year. Everyone remembers him as always smiling and always jovial and cordial towards others. I remember a few of his jokes and funny impersonations of actors that he did during breaks in work.

I think he was studying for his MBA. He was around 23-24 years old, way too young for me to be reading his obituary. Young guys of his age should be looking forward to a new job, a career and enjoying life. I wish that could be what was in store for you. I can’t believe he is gone. But his memory will live on in the hearts and minds of his friends and colleagues. I hope his family can find some peace in this trying time.

Goodbye, Christy! We will all hold you dear in our memories.

Spooky Gift

I was looking to buy a gift (or a small set of gifts) for a friend of mine. She is leaving our company after 3 years (I’ve known her for 2 years and bit more). We used to work in the same section, were very close and had a falling out about 5-6 months after meeting each other and I guess we didn’t speak or be very friendly for a few months. We’ve built our friendship over the last few months and she confides in me a lot.

She recently got called for an interview at a large organization and the job pays her a lot more than what she is getting now but I think the clinching factor was that she would work only 9-6 shifts whereas here she can’t always get that. So she had told me about a month a half that she was going to resign as she got the job. I didn’t want her to leave but in my old age and wisdom setting upon me, I realize that this is better for her as she has a young son. As the days of her two month notice period come to a close, I’ve been looking for a farewell gift for her. I checked Amazon as they have a great selection from companies in India and I was looking for a couple of things that would be good for her at her new office.

I looked up a few things and saved them to my wishlist for later but while we were sitting at a coffee break one evening a couple of days ago, I casually ask her if she had bought anything online recently. She takes out her phone and opens the Amazon app and shows me a cool looking flask for keeping water – an exact same one that I had saved in my wishlist to buy for her! It look so stylish that I had immediately thought of her. And what’s more, she had looked at a diary which was incredibly similar in design to one that I had also thought of buying for her and saved it in my wishlist!

Spooky!

Someone Else’s Island 5

We’ve all been asked what five objects we’d take with us to a desert island. Now it’s your best friend’s (or close relative’s) turn to be stranded: what five objects would you send him/her off with?

Depends on which friend it is, I have a couple:

  • a case of beer
  • Shaving kit to shave off the beard and perhaps hair too
  • a blanket
  • mp3 player with a large selection of awesome music
  • hunting knife

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Saturday Afternoon Out With Anil

For the first time this year Anil & I got together and met at Center Square Mall for a few hours. We agreed to meet there for coffee in one of the stalls in Food Court and then on the spot decided to go for a movie.

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After coffee we bough tickets for a movie and went to watch it with some popcorn. We then walked for a bit in the mall and then went for a late lunch.

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The Tandoor restaurant about 10 minutes away was the perfect choice and we went in to have some good food. We started with lime juice and a half tandoori chicken – the portion of which has shrunk so much since the last time I came here, which was back in 2012.

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We then moved on to butter naan and butter chicken. All of the food was delicious and bellies full we went back to our homes.

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Sunday Chinese Food & Beer

A not really planned but still awesome and happy get together between the 3 of us. Anil & I had talked about meeting on Sunday at 6:30 pm but we still hadn’t confirmed it. Sunday at 6pm, after watching some tv all afternoon and then taking a shower, I messaged Anil to check if we could meet up. Turns out he was on his way to the city!

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Aha! So he called me back and said to get ready and that he would pick up me at my apartment building by 6:30 pm. He contacted Madhu who was on his way back home from an afternoon spent at some friend’s house and he would meet us after he dropped his wife back at their home. So I got ready and was in the process of putting on some deodorant when it started thundering & lightning and heavy rains poured down over the city. Luckily since Anil was in his car we didn’t get wet.

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Madhu called just as we were leaving my area and said that he would be an hour late and that we should start before he joins us. Instead we went to BTH for a cup of coffee and we went slowly through MG Road which was partially flooded as it was really raining cats and dogs by now. Anil & I spent 30 minutes drinking hot cups of coffee before making our way back to MG Road and on to Mercy Estate where Golden Dragon awaited us. We stopped on the way to get some money out of an ATM.

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We ordered beer – ofcourse – and started with the restaurant’s famous and delicious Dragon Chicken which was not as great as the last time we had it but it was still great. We then had two plates of Honey flavoured sesame pork which was crisp and juicy and oh so delicious. Madhu wanted some soup and some fish and we drank beer and chatted for a while.

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To end the evening we stopped at the nearby Milano gelato parlour and had ice cream cones which were magnificent. Madhu had a milkshake instead but we were all raving about the stuff. Then it was goodbye and onto home.

Three Old Men Reunited Again!

Today was the day that I finally got to meet Anil & Madhu after a very long time. Since last October in fact! Anil has been back from Dubai for a few weeks now (he is not going back and instead is going to look for a job here or elsewhere) and Madhu is on holiday from his work in Qatar. So we needed to meet. Despite me having an ankle problem we decided to meet for coffee at around 11am in Bay Pride Mall.

After a while of chatting over there we went to Golden Dragon for beer and Chinese food. They only had King Fisher but that was ok for us.

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We munched on several stuff including this well done Chinese chicken salad. The dragon chicken was the star of the show, also good were the spring rolls, golden fried crispy prawns but the Chicken Satay was a bit too much for us. No fried rice or noodles just these starters.

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At around 2:30 pm we went to the Center Square Mall and went to several stores as Madhu looked for a pair of shoes to his liking but we never found anything he liked. We ended the day with a fruit salad & mango ice cream and then went back to our respective homes.

Friends Indeed

Pause whatever you’re doing, and ask the person nearest you what they’re thinking about (call someone if you have to). Write a post based on it.

I don’t have to ask the person what she is thinking about, since she has been texting me on Whatsapp for a long time this evening. Well this friend & colleague was reading an online article about her favourite sit com – FRIENDS – and there was a quiz at the end. Since she loves FRIENDS as much as I do, she decided to test my knowledge about the show and asked me several questions from the quiz.

I knew them all and in return I asked her a few questions of my own from some episodes. She knew some of them and we joked about the show for a while. I know she is missing the show and having watched some other shows in completion she is missing Friends and wanting to watch it again but discussing episodes & jokes with me, since I love it equally as much as she does, is good fun for her. And it is fun for me to to relive the jokes and act out the scenes to peels of laughter.

So yeah, that’s what my friend is thinking about at the moment. Or atleast at the time I started typing this post.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Goodbye To A Wonderful Lady

Yesterday one of our family friend, who my parents have known since the early 70s and who I have known from the time I was born. Today was the funeral of this wonderful lady who had to suffer so much before her untimely death. She & her husband lived in the apartment opposite my family’s and has seen the birth of my sister as well as mine. I grew up with her kids, who – the daughter is a year older than me and the son is 2 years younger than me – were my close friends until the age of 11. The last time I saw either of them was over 20 years ago, though I think I have been to the girl’s wedding but cannot be sure (which would have been around the age of 25-26).

The last time I met this woman was back in the early 2000 I think, while I was doing a marketing job and I wanted to see her husband about having his business featured on this internet portal that my employers were promoting. I spent about an hour at their house during tea time and talked to them. I haven’t seen either of them since and have not seen this lady suffer through her illness. She lost her eyesight slowly and then her ability to move and even swallow food. She needed to be put on IV to feed her and then later they had to pump food & nutrients straight into her stomach. She stopped recieving people as her  health went from bad to worse and later didn’t want anyone other than her immediate family to be near her.

After years of this state she finally breathed her last as she slept and now she is no longer suffering. Her family and friends will miss her tremendously even though they will be grateful that she no longer is a victim of her illness. She will be remembered and thought of as fondly as she deserves to be. It’s a travesty that good people, nay wonderful people like her, have to go through what she went through. Life is just not fair. She leaves behind her husband, daughter, son and grandchild.

Fireside Chat

What person whom you don’t know very well in real life — it could be a blogger whose writing you enjoy, a friend you just recently made, etc. — would you like to have over for a long chat in which they tell you their life story?

I dunno if I could pick just one. There’s so many to choose from. People I’ve met over the internet and have become friends with either through their blogs or Facebook/Twitter – some of them seem so damn interesting that at the top of my head I can think of atleast 20-25 who I’d want to have a long chat face to face with. Just to hear what their life has been like wherever they live and what life has doled out to them and how they faced those and came out smiling in the end.

So to those several people if I ever do get a chance I would love to sit with you, over several cups of coffee/tea or maybe a bit more potent drink and listen to you as you tell me things that happened over your life to make you who you are. That would be fascinating to say the least.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : 11 Things I Expect In A Good Friend

Here is my criteria or just the top 11 for what I believe is needed to be a good friend.

  • Do not preach or offer unwanted advice but be supportive and offer suggestions. And support them no matter what decision they take.
  • When your friend is down & upset, be there in person with beer or in spirit with cheer
  • Humour
  • Loyalty
  • Have their back
  • Laugh at their jokes
  • Tease them horribly
  • Never let lent or borrowed money come in the way of your friendship
  • Get to know their family
  • Offer a ear that listens & a shoulder to cry on
  • Once in a while join in one of their activities which you have no interest in but hey – he/she is your friend

That’s all I got so far!

Kramer In Kozhikode (Calicut)

I can’t believe I never posted about this before. Well, this post is courtesy of my current tv series watching schedule. I am currently watching or I should say rewatching, the entire Seinfeld series starting from season 1. I have watched Seinfeld on cable tv before but it was a few episodes here and a few episodes there so I haven’t seen more than….let’s say 50% of the episodes. Now in the beginning I didn’t think much of Seinfeld as a show but it was being shown, 5 nights a week, on Indian cable tv just before FRIENDS and I loved FRIENDS. I have learned to have a much better appreciation of Seinfeld since then and hence the watching of the series.

So now to the actual post, back in 2002-03 I live in Calicut (the city has officially changed it’s name to Kozhikode but I still prefer & use the old name of Calicut) for a total of 8 months while I was under the employment of a now defunct company based in that city. While there I stayed in a single room in a lodge and I had two of my colleagues also living in the same lodge. Most mornings we’d meet outside the gate and go to a small mess right opposite our lodge for breakfast and then take a bus or share an auto to the office. In the evening we’d either go to the mess or one of 3 small restaurants within walking distance from the lodge. At one of these restaurants, which we preferred because the food, though more expensive, was the best we’d meet Kramer.

Not the actual Kramer ofcourse but the waiter who usually served us bore a striking resemblance in looks, height but mainly in hairstyle to Cosmo Kramer (played by the actor Michael Richards). And this waiter was weird, looked like he had slept in the clothes he was dressed in, hadn’t combed his hair since the mid 90s and was a bit rude and obnoxious not just to us but to other customers as well. When I first saw the guy, I did a commendable job of not shouting “Hey, look it’s Kramer” and later explained to my two companions as to who Kramer was (they hadn’t seen the show) and hence we always referred to the waiter as Kramer. Towards the end of my stay in Calicut and me and another colleague had gone to the restaurant and at the end of our meal, I explained to the waiter about who Kramer was and that he bore a striking resemblance to the funny character.

He seemed to like that a lot and he actually smiled for us – first time we had ever seen him smiling!

Buds & Mother India

Two incidents from around the year 1997 comes to my mind. The first one I was with a friend of mine and we were walking down the road after classes at NIIT and were waiting for a bus. Suddenly my friend started flicking his ear and told me that something like a tiny insect had flown into it and it was irritating his ear. So we cross the street and went to a small store – where you get snacks, some groceries, soft drinks and tea/coffee.

He asked the guy at the counter for some “buds” (meaning cotton buds to clean his ear) and the guy turns around and gets something from a shelf behind and asks “Is this to for here or do you want me to wrap it for you?” and my friend replies “No, it’s for my ear as I want to clear our something that went in!” And the guy at the counter stops in his tracks, dumbfounded, holding two bread buns in his hands -cause that’s what he had heard, buns instead of buds, and he was wondering what kind of person would shove a bun into his ear!

The second incident must have happened a few months later; a cousin & I had traveled by bus from our ancestral home in Mattancherry to Aluva where our uncle lives. We were there to take his car and drive it back to Mattancherry as another uncle wanted to borrow it for a few days. So we drove the car back and joining us was another cousin from the house in Aluva. On the way we stopped for a bite to eat and a soft drink and my older cousin wanted to buy smokes too. So we stopped at a small shop by the road side and ordered some snacks.

One cousin wanted a 7up and the other wanted a Pepsi and I told the boy, about 13-14 years old at the counter that I wanted a Mirinda. On hearing this the boy looked stunned and then went to consult with his father, the owner of the store. The dad came up to the counter and asked me “What did you want to drink?” and I repeated “I want a Mirinda”. The owner then laughed and said “Oh, ok, coming right up” and went back smacked his son on the head and said “He said Mirinda not Mother India!” My cousins and I were laughing at that for a long time!

Beer & Chinese Food With Anil & Madhu

A year later we meet again – Madhu was back in India on a month’s vacation and he treated Anil & myself for dinner & drinks last night. Actually he had just reached Cochin early yesterday morning and took a long sleep and then called us up. I knew he was reaching Cochin early and thought he’d need some time to spend with his family and was surprised to get a call from Madhu at 6pm asking me to get ready by 7pm. Anil would pick him up on his scooter and meet me in the city.

So I changed my clothes and got ready and met them outside Center Mall but we ended up not going in there. Instead we debated and decide to go to Couchyn for some beer. So we enjoyed an hour or 90 minutes there drinking a few beers and some peanuts and also shared half a plate of chicken tikka. Couchyn, which is now one of the only few bars left open that we can go to, started filling up and by 8pm it was quite crowded, which is odd for a Tuesday night.

After what felt like a quick 90 minutes we left and then was debating where to go for dinner. We finally decided to go for some Chinese and after listing out the list of places decides to walk the 10 minutes to Chinese Garden in nearby Pallimukku. We had some hot n sour chicken soup, shared some noodles & fried rice with dragon chicken, shrimp manchurian and some other shrimp stuff that I cannot recall this morning! It was all good. It started raining a lot by 9pm and we were lucky that it started dying out by the time we finished dinner.

By around 10 pm we walked back to Couchyn because that’s where Anil had left his scooter. We stopped so that they could have a smoke (which is rare for them and I don’t smoke at all) and then I caught an auto to come back home. I was in my room, dressed in my night clothes by 10:30pm and watched some Fraiser till I fell asleep.

It’s My Party & I’ll Cry If I Want To!

You’re throwing a party — for you! Tell us all about the food, drink, events, and party favours you’ll have for your event of a lifetime. Use any theme you like — it’s *your* party!

Let’s see. I haven’t hosted a party in many, many years. I’ve taken small groups of people out for lunch or dinner. One reason is mainly because my apartment, where I live in with mum & dad, is pretty small. If they were out for the day/evening, I’d be comfortable in hosting a little lunch / dinner party for a group of 5-10 people. That would be fine. Back when we were living in our old house in Thrikkakara, we used to have friends & family over for lunch or dinner quite often and we had a nice big living room / dining room combo so we could easily fit in 20-30 people if needed. But I only used to have people over for my birthday party or something like that, if it was just be throwing the party.

I remember one year – age 17, I think – I took permission from my dad & mum to invite 8 friends to a dinner for my birthday at the Cochin Suburban Club, where my dad has a lifetime membership. I remember I had injured my knee and hence was limping over to the place helped by a friend who lived near me. I love treating my friends out for lunch or dinner if I can afford it but there is a difference in having people over for a meal, even if it’s food that you’re catering from a restaurant. It feels different because it’s at your home, your table and chairs, your plates and you control the whole atmosphere in the place and can have your own music or put on a movie or two. My sister does a good job, usually for new years, in hosting a good casual dinner party with lots of snacks and drinks and good meals following the festivities with desert.

I would love to have some music playing – song list chosen specifically for the occasion – some snacks like chips, chicken, fish, beef or shrimp as appetizers, drinks (vodka, brandy, beer, whiskey, rum and coke, sprite, pepsi & 7up) and for main course it will be fried rice, some noodle, two types of chicken dishes, some pork, some sea food and maybe some lamb. All the while, laughing and cracking jokes. Some games that involve everyone and a fun movie that everyone will love (comedy, adventure, action or scifi). Desert will follow and people will relax in the sofas and be as comfortable as possible until late in the evening when it’s time for people to go back home. Simple and yet for me it would be very satisfying.

Prompt by the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Juices & Biriyani With Alapatt

Had a day out today. I meant to just go out for an hour or so and pay my internet and phone bills but as I was finishing breakfast my close buddy Anil Alapatt called me up and said he was on leave and in town and would I be free to hang out for  few hours. I said yes and I went to Bay Pride Mall (a little late but better than never) and met him at the entrance. Now it is a freakingly hot & humid day, as the weather has been brutal for the past couple of weeks and we were thirsty and tired. We went to the food court and bought fruit juices; he had a watermelon juice and I had something called a “sunrise” which is orange+musambi mix.

We sat at a table and waited for our drinks. We talked for almost 2 hours over there and enjoyed out cold drinks, which were delicious and refreshing and talked about a lot of stuff. We also called Madhu in Qatar and spoke to him for a while. At around 2pm we went across in the searing heat to Ceylon Bake House and ate chicken biriyanis and lemonades. Now a couple of things – most biriyanis in the hotels these days makes me depressed and the quality had dropped quite a bit. But hey atleast there were 3 pieces of chicken, which I rarely get these days in a single biriyani! The quality & quantity though leaves a lot to be desired.

Despite only going out in the sun for a few more minutes we were both tired and a bit scorched from the heat. Anil wanted to sit somewhere and talk and so we went to Coffee Beanz for something to drink. I went to pay my internet bill (the hub is 2 stores away) and then went to find Anil in the cafe. As Anil was nursing a cold he wanted hot coffee and I settled for a cold “lemon fizz”. They served me that which looked good but tasted bad! It honestly tasted like melted down lemon cough drops (like Strepstils or Vicks) mixed with soda and ice! I swear I am not making this up. I sent it back to add more soda and dilute that shit but it still was terrible and I could only finish half. We waited till 4pm and then went to the Marine Drive walkway for a few more minutes and then parted ways.

Buffet Lunch With My Buddy Anil

I hadn’t seen my buddy Anil since October of 2013. I wanted to get together with him in December but with my injured foot I just couldn’t go out. Today out of the blue he wants to meet for lunch and called me at around 10:30 am to fix up a meeting. I said sure, I wasn’t doing anything so I could go and spend a few hours.

we met at around 11:30 at Menaka and walked across to Bay Pride Mall for coffee at the Abad Food Court (one of our favourite places to sit and chat over a cold drink or two). After a long chat, the place started getting crowded, so we went to the walkway and found a nice bench next to a shady tree and sat there for a while as we talked about recent stuff in both our lives.

By around 1:30 pm we were hungry and we looked around for a good place to have lunch that also served beer. We went over to Hotel SeaLord (a place where I’ve been to twice before but never had anything other than some beer and fish fingers) and found out that they also have a buffet. So we ordered a couple of Kingfisher Premium lagers and munched on some peanuts before going to try the buffet.

The buffet was reasonably priced at Rs.199 per head (most places have ridiculous prices) and so we went to try some food. The salad (with some kind of dressing that was really good) was delicious as were the honey glazed potato fries. The chicken was disappointing.

For round two we had rice (he had plain white rice while I had the disappointing, bland and a little cold vegetable pulao), poppadom and this time they had changed the chicken dish and it was a lot better with fish and some more of the potatoes. Overall it was ok, not much of a recommend from me. by 4:45 pm I was back at home.