Thursday, April 23, 2009

On a Tea-walk

You call this a Tea-walk because you take a walk with a cup of tea in hand and, in between conversations, or reflections(if you're walking alone), you sip from the cup. And continue to walk or talk or reflect.

We started this nearly 4 years ago, in my initial days in this company. A colleague, who was also a friend beyond the office cublice would accompany me and we'd stroll atleast twice in a day(sometimes thrice). A 200 meter road stretches beside a park near my office, lined by tall trees with thick foliage on one side and posh houses on the other. To walk this silent stretch on a hot day was a really pleasant experience, amidst all the stress and boredom of the routine work. We'd order two half-cups of tea in a bakery at one end of the road, and begin to amble under the shade, sipping slowly from the cups, talking leisurely. A milk booth stood at the other end of the road, and by the time we reached that spot, the cups would be empty. Then we'd order spiced butter-milk packets and, sipping the throat churning drink, return to the cubicle. And wait for another walk in the late afternoon hours. Just refreshing.

What was really interesting about his 1/2 hour spell was the conversation. Anything under the sun would come up for discussion. Of course there was gossip, bitching, small talk, sometimes silences. And good exchanges about topics close to our hearts--meditations, spirituality, Work at Manasa, escape from the cubicle life, movies, music, books....everything punctuated by hot sips from the cup.

The colourful sights and mild sounds of the surroundings would add to the magic of this ambience. Birds would chirp in the branches high above. Sometimes a mild drizzle would break out and the earth would yeild its thirst quenching odours. Evening rays breaking through the wet leaves. Children would play on the see-saw or run around in the park. Brisk walkers and exercising elders would walk past in the evenings. A few autorickshaws would be parked by the roadside and the drivers would be fast asleep inside-- probably after working at night and having nowhere to go in a new city, sleeping the whole day in their vehicles. Young couples would shed their hesitation and melt in one another's arms on the park benches, unmindful of the elderly lady walking past. 'Then, you know, you always get your best ideas in the shower....' 'Mmm.... Must be something. But I take all major decisions of the day in the loo...'

Of course, the season changes. But the 200 mt stretch stays. So do all those tall trees. Also the boredom, frustration and bewilderment at work. I come back to the same bakery and pick up half a cup. And amble the lonely road, reflecting, also calming my thoughts. The quietitude of this place belongs to another world. Stop worrying. Don't think about life rushing past before you can blink. Don't think about the dying dreams. Listen to the rustle of the young leaves. Listen. Stay Awake.


  1. I have to smile. I am probably 3 decades (more) older than you and already you are worrying about life rushing past! I am sad that your work is so frustrating and I am hoping that some new opportunity comes your way. There is nothing worse than working at something you do not enjoy. Keep your networks open, take new training, keep looking.

  2. You are fortunate to have a place like that to walk through.Beautiful....I just love the way you have painted the scene with words.Keep writing, Vishwa! Don't let your work kill the writer in you.

  3. I'm not a coffee drinker but every time I go to coffee shops with close friends, each sip gets tastier as we catch up and share the stories of our lives. :)

  4. Lovely words, I can almost walk with you, you make it real.

    But I wonder at your choice of image? It seems so despondent. I guess it fits your current mood, rather than some of the previous moments you write about.

  5. Hahha, yes Val. You have a keen eye for images. That image suited my mood when I blogged the above post :-)'s called as 'secret ingredient' and it gets added mysteriously into anything you eat/drink in the company of friends--that's how the food gets the heavenly taste.

    Thanks meena...I believe, writing gets enriched more by bad experiences than the good ones, so my work is a definete booster for the writer in me. I've blogged most of my posts in between work, amidst the boredom and stress. gets a feeling of life-rushing-past when the outer circumstances goes out of sync with your 'inner life' and you begin to wonder what on earth is happening in your life. And it can happen at any age, isn't it? For my money, the sooner the better!

    I deeply appreciate your concern, advice and encouragement. Thank you.

  6. Vishwa,

    Though the World is BIG, the pleasant memories shared always makes it small and cozy. All that you have captured up above must be due to some stirring that has recently prompted you to re-visit the glorious past with your friends. Friends who share the same dreams & ideals, but drifted apart by the winds of destiny.

    I too lost many friends who were very close yet didn't had the patience to extend their sight to the vision that we all chose to dream of...

    Well, life always kicks at "The spot" and that too very hard.

    Watch "Dil Chahta Hai" where aakash gets beaten up by sid when he doesn't take the seriousness of his idea, yet at a later stage experiences the truth & comes back to his ol' pal.

    Many times more than fate people choose to remain distant. Everything can change if alone we know how to see things in their TRUE LIGHT. World commits mistakes, yet the LIFE GOES ON...

    You are too young to understand this! Being the ol' & withered lone leaflet at the end of Book of Life, I can hardly wait to befriend the Only TRUSTWORTHY Friend -Death!

    Don't loose touch with your friends, who share the similar ideas. It isn't worth it! Friends are the only one who can come with you all along... atleast till death.

    Anyways happy sipping tea and a soothing walk!!!

  7. Nice comment, Prashanth. Your observations are so true. It's not fate but people who, many times, choose to stay away. And I'm one of those people who do this, either through habit or plain lazinesss. I get smacked for repeatedly doing this, and my defense 'Not sentimental' only gets me smacked harder. Old habits die hard!!

    But I take exceptions to another point you raise....'the only TRUSTWORTHY Friend-Death!' Is it? I'd consider this a life-weary, life-negating view, which I wouldn't subscribe to :-)

    Death is no-doubt a portal to the unseen and unknown life, but I guess, there are many more such portals which are hidden, ignored and glossed over. You know what I'm talking about!

  8. Just BEAUTIFUL!!,.. feelings of nature, just gets in and sinks in, through this post !,
    This is nice to read, just stop worrying, listen to rustle of young leaves,... listen and stay awake !!!.... Do you still take major decisions of the day in the loo??? !!... one of my friend used to say the same thing hahahaa!!.....

    ----- Archana.