Thursday, March 31, 2005

Mayuri... (and no! it's not a girl!!!)

Manisha Xerox is a small photo-copying store behind our college that has already attained quasi-legendary status as a Mecca for any student desiring a copy of any document. The man running the place is a shrewd individual who has resorted to the clever technique of keeping extra copies of any document that he feels may be required by more than one student. Thus when the other students come they can simply 'buy' a copy rather than bring along an original to be photo-copied. He was the first photo-copying shop to set up in the vicinity and having complete monopoly over the trade, he had set his rate to a far too exorbitant 75p per copy. Now, even though there are other photo-copiers around offering services for much lower prices, he still seems to do fair business. It never ceases to amaze me!
The focus of this post though, is not Manisha Xerox but a rather non-descript, louche joint that sits right next to it.
“Mayuri Hotel”, the sign informs in Hindi. 'Hotel' is far too generous a term for it. It reminds me of one of those old Western Saloons. It's an extremely low-key affair and one would under normal circumstances not even pay it a second glance.
So why were today's circumstances not normal? Well, Siddarth (Dani) and I were standing outside Manisha (or to be more precise the shop next it), when lo and behold, a bevy of college professors come out of Mayuri!! It included a healthy mix of chaps from the Computer, Electronics and Mechanical Departments.
It wasn't the sight of the professors that startled us, but rather the number of them. It was a well-known fact that a couple of professors sought refuge in Mayuri occasionally, but we had no idea so many of them frequented the place. Some of the faces in the group too surprised us. Renowned professors whom you would NEVER associate with that cheap place!
After they left, Sid and I decided to pay the place a visit - try and figure out what those guys saw in it. When we entered the place was totally empty. No sooner had we seated ourselves at a table, than a waiter-boy placed an ashtray in front of us. That itself was enough for us to understand the motive behind the professors' visits. A 3.45pm stress busting cigarette or two! If we needed further proof, the gargantuan stack of cigarette packets on the shelves supplied it.
For the record, Dani had a soda and I had a cup (make it a glass) of tea. The ambience of the place was actually pretty nice. It kinda makes you forget that you are just 30 meters from that hellhole you call college. The soft music playing in the background gives you that village feeling, and the place was surprisingly clean given its shady appearance.
The posters on the wall seemed to belong to a decade long past and to our astonishment, the prices seemed just as medieval. It's one of the few places where no matter what you order, you will quite likely end up paying the bill in coins!
We're thinking of making another appearance there one of these days when it's actually filled with profs. And who knows, maybe even light up a ciggie! And kiss our term-work marks good-bye!!

1 comment:

siddharth said...

get haloscan fast. probably thats why u don't get comments.