â€œCome on guysâ€¦ Eat your fillâ€, said Suren, taking out a tenner from his pocket. Humming an obscene song, Karun led us to our favourite coffee stall. â€œBoy, it is not a toddy shopâ€¦ mind youâ€, I told him. â€œDo you want me to sing Bajagovindam?â€, Karun retorted.
On seeing us, the waiter brought coffee and some cheap snacks as usual but Suren bluntly told him â€œWe donâ€™t want any of theseâ€ and ordered for some expensive items. The Waiter smiled sarcastically and took away the snacks and brought the items ordered by us. While eating, Karun asked, â€œHow did you manage to get a tenner from that guy?â€. â€œEat while you eat,â€ I said. But Suren obliged, â€œWhen that chap kept on talking about his good old days when they used to play hide and seek instead of cricket or football, I touched upon his sentimentsâ€¦ and it worked. Then of course, he expected us to buy cricket bats and pads from his shop.â€
Once in a while I go back in time and recall certain incidents like the one narrated above. It is well over four decades since it happened. We had just returned from our college in the evening bus. It was 4.30 pm and the three of us – me, Suren and Karun had to walk a mile or so from where we got down to reach our homes but we used to visit our favourite restaurant (mentioned above) to have a cup of coffee and some snacks. On that particular evening, our pockets were almost empty and when we were a little disappointed, Suren came out with an idea, â€œIf either of you can spare 2 annas, I can find a wayâ€. Fortunately, I had a two-anna coin with me and I gave it to him. Suren ran to the nearby bookshop and bought a notebook. He wrote the following words: â€œDear sir/madam, we have great pleasure in informing you that we have organized a committee with a view to starting a cricket club in our area under the name â€˜Rising starâ€™. We have a small play ground but we have to buy bats, balls and other materials. We shall be grateful if you could contribute to our endeavourâ€. Suren got our signatures and ran to a near by shop which sold sports materials, asking us to wait in front of the restaurant. In ten minutes or so, suren appeared before us and yelled â€œCome on guys, eat your fillâ€.