“The Tea Shop” is just around the corner of the road to my place. This has become a regular pit-stop on my way back from work, to take a breath from a long day. It is much of a tea shop and yet goes around with the suffix “bakery” to the name in line with a decade long tea shop tradition in the locality. They do bake, boil and fry a variety of stuff. Stuffs that are mouthwatering like the pineapple cake, jammed cakes, photo printed birthday cakes, assortment of biscuits, cubes of colorful homemade chocolates, all stacked in order, inside temperature controlled glass displays. And yet a couple of files are already in, sampling the freshly baked. Life always finds its way. Meanwhile the common favorites the puffs (veg and non-veg), it’s cousins the mushroom puffs, paneer puffs, and what-not stuffed puffs are put inside containers of optimal temperature. Just below the ceiling a series of black, orange and green colored bottles ran for almost half the length of the shop – beverages, many on the verge of their expiry date. Today, just like any other evening, the bakery is crammed with people who just got off their work. The construction workers in rags, travelling families just out of their SUVs, neighborhood mothers with their kids, carefree old men and me with an ID tag hanging down the collar, all staged perfectly, some seated, some standing with their eyes popping and nose making macaroon against the glass displays.
I didn’t make any order today. But in no time a plate with four salt biscuits and a tea was served. The guy serving is so accustomed to my routine that he never bothers to ask me what I want. I am happy with that. However at times, it severely backfires if I had something else in mind. I could hardly make anything out of the buzz around. Teen groups laughing on their particular jokes, merchant yelling in his mobile, kids keenly slurping ice creams, coins clinking at the counter. So while I wait for the tea I involuntarily pick my phone and start scratching it. But once it is on the table, business is business. I start dipping the biscuits into the tea and munch it to ecstasy, hardly gazing around the movements inside or across the busy road.
For “The Daily Post’s Writing101 – June2014″.