One for the road

The sights are so many. The sounds are ear numbing. The mind tries to absorb all what comes by. The eyes are focused on the road. The heat is omni present.

The car’s air-conditioner is at work. As much as it can. Its some years old now. And it shows. The suns heat has been there forever. That shows too.

Its having an impact. All of this. To compound an already clouded mind. Clouded with work and its facets. Family and its facets. The home and the broken faucets.

The mind sows the seed for a head ache to take shape. The head is fertile ground. For such sowing. Tiredness germinates. Its becoming clear as to where all this would lead to. Beeps go off somewhere within. Auto triggered alarm bells within the confines of the mind.

Adding to the clamour.

That’s precisely when the sugar cane juice vendor is spotted. He pushes sugarcane into heavy machinery. Those wheels by the side, move with precision. Out flows concentrated juice. A slice of lemon. And some ginger. And some ice later, the drink is nursed.

As it sinks into a parched throat, the mind seems to be affected. The noises quieten. He sells more. A Small costs Rs.3/-. A large costs Rs.5/-. He can almost sense that the throat is parched enough for more. And proposes a ‘Jumbo’ for Rs.7/-.

In some time, what was grown in some field somewhere, rests in the glass at hand. The throat is a lot less parched. The mind seems to be a lot less noisy. Was there a connection ? There is wonder. As usual.

In satisfaction, the eyes roam. And spot the large tender coconuts sold. Just some distance away. The parched throat is no longer parched. The mind is still in its quenched trance. Yet, the tender coconuts beckon.

There are memories of having tender coconuts. In fields. Roadsides. Travel. With special people. With strangers. All alone. Lows. Highs. A million thoughts rush back. Its almost as though the tender coconuts beckon for re-living of those memories.

He is doubtful of any sale. For he has seen the Jumbos getting gulped with a ferocity of a ravenous glutton.

For only a fleeting second. ‘”The one with water'”, escapes the throat with almost quaint insult to the Jumbo glasses of Sugarcane juice. He gives a wide grin.

The mind seems to rise in protest. Somewhere, that protest is quelled with one statement : ‘This ones for the road’.

A sigh escapes. A smile uses the same escape route too. The mind is quiet. In some time, so is the air-conditioner in the car.

19 thoughts on “One for the road

  1. Neha says:

    amazing write up…I know by now you must have been got used to his line from me…but your each post deserves it…

    loved the images…recognised first two as it shows a bit of background…I have passed by those roads so many times…(again I have become all nostalgic..darn, gotta do something about me)..

    thank you 🙂

  2. Macha says:

    But how do u quench the mind and its needs? Can’t find a way out.

  3. Kavi u r too good with words!!
    It was lovely post!!
    loved the pics too

  4. amreekandesi says:

    And just today while driving, i found myself craving a jumbo glass of freshly drawn sugarcane juice…

  5. manju says:

    This post brought back memories of college days in Pune. No soft drinks for us- only sugarcane juice!

  6. Sugarcane juice has been a big part of my life for more than 50 years. And what is amazing, is how it has been least affected by the vagaries of economics and inflation.

    No colas, no sprites , no tasting of any thunder, beats the nectar with a hint of ginger and lemon trickling down a parched throat. Aahhaha….!

    (I tried to burst into verse , but I was so thirsty, I failed 🙂

  7. cyber gipsy says:

    Reminds me : Circa 2001-02. Pullela Gopichand wins All England Badminton Championships and was approached by both Coke and Pepsi, to endorse their sugared soda water. He refused their very lucrative offer. When reporters asked him why ( very frequently, in all interviews), he said – the incremental sale of these aerated soft drinks by MNC s, may adversely affect local fruit juice sellers !! Strange reason, isn’t it ?
    Too narcissistic ? Perhaps. But the principle ( and genuine concern) with which he turned down the offer – was impeccable !

    He’s now the architect behind the rise and rise of Saina Nehwal, perhaps the only truly international standard female athlete after P.T.Usha.
    Sania Mirza, alas, only flattered to deceive.
    Thanks for the post. When ever I see a fruit juice vendor , I remember Pullela Gopichand.

  8. Onkar says:

    Lovely post on a mundane subject. You have written a poem on something so unpoetic.

  9. sujata says:

    you are a genius with words, what a beautiful flow, your posts are like flying a let go of the words, they tumble, they dance, the play and then slowly they come back into your fold..i forgot the sugar cane and the nariyal pani, am sorry, quenched my thirst with your words!!

  10. Sujatha says:

    totally missing sugar cane juice! You get coconut water here in cans, but not the same thing at all! Loved this post!

  11. RGB says:

    Thank God for sugarcane. Thank God for tender coconut. And thank YOU for sharing your experience in such free-flowing verse. I’ve been sweating small stuff searching for something to break the monotony of my after-noon work hours and lo I find it right here. Refreshing indeed.

  12. This sounds delicious! I first had the chance to suck on some pieces of sugar cane just a few years ago. What a treat.

  13. Rush says:

    awesome finish to a thirst quenching quest..i can sense calmness all over now.

  14. ♥ Braja says:

    You’re good, Kavi…really good….

  15. Aleta says:

    Oh my, I have a sudden thirst! Right after this comment, I’m going to order something sweet and cold to drink. You do pen the emotions well!

  16. wow! What a modern looking ganna walla!!
    Did I ever mention that the ice they use are the ones from the morgue?! We enjoyed scrunching those up though….!!

  17. Kavi says:

    Neha : Thank you ! As usual ! The sugar cane vendors in those parts of town are so ubiquitous by their presence. Arent they !

    Macha : You ask very dangerous questions. Terrain that i know leads me far deep beyond a valley that i fathom, will be difficult to traverse !

    NR : Thank you ! 🙂

    Amreekandesi : Were you ! You must make a trip to Mumbai here, and try the fare given out here ! Awesome stuff ! 🙂

    Manju : I abhor soft drinks. Usually that is ! But give me Sugar cane juice ! Anytime. Any day ! 🙂

    Ugich Konitari : 😀 ! Sugar cane beats anything down. And sometimes, manages to steal the thunder out of verse too ! 🙂

    cyber Gypsy : Thats some connection. I guess these events / interviews and such else stay with us for a very long time. And Gopichand’s route indeed isnt one thats oft taken. I can understand what you say !

    Onkar : Thank you ! I am not sure about my post being a poem. But i can tell you…sugar cane juice flowing down a parched throat can be good poetry too !


    Sujata : Oh my ! Thank you! and what a way to say that. With words that seem to kiss the air yet held by a string and tugged by a lady with some generosity ! Thank you indeed !

    Sujatha : We too get coconut water in tetra packs. For all of Rs.25/-. There are some who prefer that. I prefer it straight from the coconut !

    Some how the tetra pack makes it artificial… Or is it ! Am not sure !

    Thank you for the comment !

    RGB : Welcome here ! I am glad that the thirsts were quenched. But anything beats a combination an afternoon of work ! Doesnt it !! 🙂

    thank you for stopping by and for the generous comment !

    Christine : It is fantastically delicious. And thats a modest statement at that !


    Rush : hmm !! 🙂 Well ! Well. After kalia…i guess such thirst quenching is required !

    Braja : Thank you ! Indeed ! 🙂

    Aleta : Thanks so much !

    roshini : The ‘modern looking’ fella is part of the setup of Mumbai ! And they belt out the best of sugar cane juice ! 🙂

  18. niru says:

    Hi Kavi!

    Thank you so much for sharing this post! Bought back a slice of memory from all our younger days!

    BTW I hope after the small,medium,jumbo and one for the road the drive back home was a short ride! 🙂


  19. A jumbo glass later,
    the verse is back……..

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