Sunday, February 23, 2014

Those eyes stare

I must be one of those elite members in the book of travellers who shuttle frequently to Chennai to attend all marriage and my God works in odd ways. He makes sure that I use the train at the same time and on the same day of every alternative week. He adds to the convenience by placing me in a project which has a shift from late afternoon to night.

Not everyone will understand the emotional connect that I have with the Chennai Central station. The bond goes back two years from today when I discovered that there is a morning train which will land me on time to office. Since then, my routine has been the same; rush to the station exactly at 6 45 a.m. and halt at the Sarvana Bhavan counter. 

Yes, I am the stereotyped South Indian who loves her morning coffee and idli-sambhar. This reason makes the compulsive visit to the Chennai’s favourite Veg restaurant ‘Sarvana Bhavan’. The process for getting a parcel from this hotel is very simple, pay the money at a counter, submit the token and receive your package. But it isn’t as simple as it seems. 

It is a world wonder how at least 50 people make it to the same counter at the early morning flashing their money bundles and shouting the order. The probability I had practiced for 3 years hasn’t given me a solution for the  right time to go to the counter when the crowd would be manageable. Whatever be the rumble and hassle outside the counter, the man in greyish green uniform behind the counter snatches the money, gives the stare and returns the change monotonously. It happens every time and this expression hasn’t changed over the two years. 

For him, this must mean a serious business but to me, to get his attention was the utmost drive.
As everyone in this world teaches something, there have been 5 peculiar things that I have understood in this short encounter with the Sarvana Bhavan counter guy.

(1) I need women’s quota: I have tried everything to get the token. I have batted my eye lids, squeaked out loud, banged on the counter and everything that is in my power. But, he does his job meticulously; collects from everyone except me. One day, I could barge into the Railway minister’s house and demand women’s quota for every counter that is on the station. That way, my package arrives at least 20 minutes earlier.

(2) I definitely need to marry someone taller : What is with the designing of the counter that is exactly at my height that I need to tip toe to glance at my lover boy ? I do my stretching in the counter with the heavy back pack that finishes my early morning exercise. Now and then, a dancing step gets conceptualized in this ritual but he doesn’t give a damn. If my children, by any chance, get my genes of love for coffee and idli, a taller spouse is a need.  

 (3) I must revisit my Math concepts : I didn’t memorise the probability formula well. I haven’t fully understood the permutation and combination either. These are more essential than any x’s and y’s I had learnt. I should be able to calculate the right time to enter the counter, hand over the money and collect the token. For these, I must draw an entire chart of plan with that minuscule calculation like train timing and number of people roughly who love the SB. This way I should be able to save enough energy and time.

(4) My networking is of no use : I roughly have around 1300 friends in my Facebook account out of which, at least 800 must be from Chennai. And from these, roughly, say 300 are from Bangalore. Why the hell are they not in station at the same time? Why cant a super handsome tall guy just help me out here ? Yenn kaduvale ?

(5) Demand and supply curves : I rolled over the mud and bed to understand these demand – supply concepts in post graduation but I see real use only now. Whatever hell be the price of the idli, there is still demand for it. Who, in the right mind,is fine with buying over priced idlis at a station? But the demand is never less making it tough for every smaller mortal like me to strike a bargain with the counter fellow.

People have problems with the matchmaking aunties and nosy neighbours but I have an epic closeness with the hotel counter fellow. As SRK shrieks and shrills in the Chennai express movie, I would say the same: don’t underestimate the power of the common counter fellow. He could make or mar your entire day.

Though I understand the business profits and seriousness of the fellow with staring eyes behind the counter, my encounter fallacies remain at the worst every alternate Monday morning. Now, visit to the railway minister seem the only way out!

This is an entry for the #ConditionSeriousHai contest by Cadbury 5 star.


Saket said...

I can relate to your Sarvana experince. Getting served at Sarvana is as tough was writting on this topic. At least you succeeded well in the latter.

Subs said...


Ha ha ha ! True! I always get a headache checking the rush there. Thanks a lot :) Atb for the contest :)