A chat with Chetta

– Anjana Narayan

Have you ever wondered how the Josephite hangout place came into being? I recently had a chat with the Chettas owner. He went on to tell me the story.

Chettas

Chetta’s (PC: Daniel Rosario)

It was established 15 years back by Mr. Thamban. He is a malayali and  is the owner of  ‘SK Bakery and Juice centre’ or how we Josephites belovedly call it ‘Chettas’. The word ‘Chetta’ means brother in malayalam. The story behind the name of the bakery is quite fascinating. The senior Josephites used to place their orders by addressing Mr. Thamban as Chetta and hence the name.

As our conversation progressed, he told me that he opened the bakery in its current location as it would bring in a lot of customers which include students from St. Joseph’s PUC and College of Commerce. On an average, he earns about Rupees 5000 a day. He also mentioned that on the days when the college remained closed, he lacks business.

Chettas

Mr. Thamban aka Chetta

A typical day in Mr. Thamban’s life starts at 7 and continues till 11. Students start crowding at the bakery by 7.30 in the morning. There are various choices displayed on the menu, they include milkshakes, puffs, samosas etc. The preferred drink of the students is the most celebrated one on the menu, ‘The Oreo shake’. When I asked Thamban about his personal favourite he laughed and said that he liked all the items on the menu.

The classic Oreo Shake

The classic Oreo Shake

Thamban doesn’t work single- handed, he has 4 members on his crew to help him with the day-to-day chores. One prepares the beverages, the other takes orders and the third sits behind the cash counter and Thamban makes sure that all the work done is co-ordinated and leaves the customer satisfied. He also mentioned that he had competition from the stores around his bakery. He maintains a good rapport with students. He gets along well with them. Mr.Thamban being a successful entrepreneur, I asked him about his advice to Josephites who want to stand on their own feet and start their business. He said, ‘If you have an idea, go ahead and execute it!’ He also added that, one shouldn’t be afraid to take risks and must have the courage to face any situation.

Chetta's Menu

Chetta’s Menu

Stories like these of ordinary people often go unnoticed. Mr. Thamban is a prosperous owner of a bakery and he has overcome numerous hurdles to reach the position he is in now. Students who have passed out from the institution often meet at Chettas to relive their old times. It is also a place where friendships blossom. Chettas holds a very special place in every Josephite’s heart. Years later when we look down memory lane, we will cherish the moments we shared at this homely place called ‘Chettas’.

 

Photo Credits: Daniel Rosario

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First Bell

– Pratima Prakash

As I grumpily shut my alarm clock, the sunlight streaming through the curtains jolted me to reality. Today was the day I graduate from being a “school student” to a “college girl”. Today was my first day in college.  On my way to college, a zillion anxious thoughts about my first day crossed my mind.

“Am I going to be socially accepted?”
“Am I making the right decision?”
“Am I going to enjoy the next 3 years of my life?”It was series of never ending ‘am I’s’, and even the calm Bangalore weather could not  to compose me.

As I walked into my new college campus, my second home for the next 3 years, fear and nervousness gripped me. I was overwhelmed by the  groups of energetic, cheery teenagers, all excited to begin a new chapter in their lives. Making my way to class, I settled myself into a quite corner, too shy and nervous to interact with anybody. A pang of nostalgia hit me, as I missed the familiarity of my old school, and the laughter of my friends. Soon, a friendly lecturer walked in, introducing herself as our class mentor, and asked us to introduce ourselves. By the time it was my turn, I so nervous that I ended up tripping and fell flat on my face. A few people helped me up, while the entire classroom howled in laughter, instantly making me turn red with embarrassment. However , looking at my teacher’s amused face, and my classmates’ cheeky grins, I felt weirdly at ease. Having completely forgotten about my earlier fiasco, I went on to introduce myself to the class, particularly emphasizing on my clumsiness. As the day progressed, I learnt to let go of my inhibitions and fears, and began to interact with the people around me. It was then that I began to take note of my surroundings. The entire college had a very positive and enthusiastic vibe, with bright corridors, a series of cultural activities and a friendly faculty.

When the bell rang, I watched as groups of eager students piled out of class, talking animatedly to each other. This time, however, I felt a strange sense of belonging and acceptance amidst these people.  In some ways, college is a lot like Bangalore city, always bustling with energy and activity .The cosmopolitan crowd, a myriad of opportunities and the optimistic attitude of the people, all bearing a strong resemblance to namma Bengaluru. As I was leaving college, I read the board saying “St Joseph’s College of Commerce” and  smiled to myself. I was now officially  a  Josephite.  Here’s to new beginnings, and a bucketful  of everlasting memories.

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Pink

She glanced at herself, and winced.
Trailing her fingers across the mauve smudge of battered dreams,
right above her cheekbone.
She reached out for her second skin, lying packaged in a pale pink tube.
It’s concealed.

– Vijetha Jessica

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Shutter up the photo-man

                                                                                                                                       – Srikar

He was wiping his Canon Lenses with his specially imported Chinese Silk fabric. Still unsure how he succeeded in bargaining by talking in Malayalam with those Mandarin tongued yellows, he was proud of himself. After all he was the next big thing in the little world of photography!

He could make big things look small and small things look big. And more importantly, his line of expertise included the art of ‘Candid photography’. He would make the select few folks pose according to the parameters set by him for it to be called as ‘Candidness’ and clicks their photos! And oh boy, aren’t those ‘Candid pics’ a treat to our eyes?

He at last finishes wiping his Canon lenses. He was getting himself ready for the big day. A photographer has to deal with a lot of Crop and Crap, and undoubtedly this young chap had to face the latter every day. But that was his big day. After working from different angles and getting his focus right, he finally bagged his perfect picture moment of having called to shoot a famous Television serial actor’s Cab Driver’s house warming ceremony! Well, that was indeed an Aperture in his Photographic life. But in his real life, his aperture wasn’t that bright, all because of the void that his ex-flame created, the exposure that he still couldn’t fill in.
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Because Sometimes, The Journey is the Destination

                                                                                               – Stephen George & Rahul Jojan 

Having done the first 40 kilometers of our ride, I turned back and asked Rahul, “Why are we doing this? For what ledger, exactly, and kept by whom?” Even though he didn’t have an answer, it got the both of us thinking about life and why we do the things we do.

That’s the best part about cycling, even though it is nothing more than an athletic undertaking it somehow always makes you pause and think about the general direction your life is heading in. There’s something paradoxical about how each time you pedal, the cycle inches forward towards your destination, but on the other side of the same coin your mind travels backwards putting you in a reflective state of mind.

We took our first break at McDonalds which is located a few kilometers before the International Airport. It was about 8:30am by then and the Sun was being quite unforgiving. After a quick breakfast we hit the road again. We had a general idea as to where Nandi Hills was but just to make sure, we would often stop by the side of the road and make enquiries with the locals. The locals would always give us this priceless expression of utmost unbelief whenever we mentioned the words “Nandi Hills” because in their opinion, getting up there on a bicycle was impossible!

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Take One

How many times have you wrapped your lies

In shards of glass and fancy bow ties?

Then enveloped in glitter, you hid your pain;

And mixed your tears with drops of champagne.

Your bones weakened in the frozen starlight,

Your veins tightened, mocking your fright.

And as beauty comes, in vain it goes;

Often pompous, like the cries of crows.

The tips of your fingers long for skin,

But touch instead a life that is paper thin.

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The Clash of Cultures?

                                                                                                                            – Marilyn V Nagaraj

“I can imagine nothing more terrifying than an Eternity filled with men who were all the same. The only thing which has made life bearable…… has been the diversity of the creatures on the surface of the globe”- T. H. White

Hello, Hola, Kem Cho, Marhaba, Ni Hao, Ainu, Hej…

My earliest memories are of me being in primary and being bombarded with questions from my friends and other classmates as to why I happened to speak 2 languages at home while they happened to speak just one. I was too small to comprehend and understand as to why I spoke 2 languages??This made me feel so alienated from the others. I remember coming home from school and eagerly questioning my parents frequently as to what was so different about our family and those of my friends, and the reason for us to speak two languages. As a child my parents did try very hard to make me understand. But, I must admit that it took a while before I finally understood and accepted my cultural and linguistic identity. It was very difficult initially as my cousins felt my communication skills in Telugu was way too poor to keep up with theirs. And, hence whenever I did go out with them I was often the odd one out, kept out of their close-knit group because I was considered only Half-Telgite and not a complete one. However this has changed today and Oh Yes!!My Telugu has improved and has come a long way from what it was then.

Growing up as a child I often felt like straddling between two cultures and two languages, never completely one. Growing up was always about that constant push and pull between two cultures and languages. Here I was, trying to perfect my Telugu. Who knew there was something more?? As if, perfecting one language wasn’t enough, I was to learn yet another two languages-Kannada and Hindi, as I entered into the middle school.

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No Space Left! – The truth of our lives

                                                                                                                        –  Zahid M. Zubair

We are always on the lookout for extra space as we seem to be running out of it. No space on the memory cards of our mobile phones, no space on the hard disks of our PC’s and laptops, no space on our tables, no space in our rooms, no space in our houses, no space to park on the streets, no space in the busses to stand, let alone sit, no space on the roads to ride or drive, long queues outside restaurants, all waiting for a turn to dine and make merry, and the world is moving towards such a phase where there will be no space left for humans. And yet, we are still looking for stuff we can, and cannot cram. We download movies, games and music to fill the hard disks and memory still yet, we buy stuff that may not even be important or useful and shove them in our houses. The situation on the roads and transports has always been bad. The condition of the population may best be left untouched.

From ‘live and let live’ it’s come to ‘adjust or perish’. With nowhere else to go, there have been dialogues about missions to Mars and Moon, one-way human expeditions, plans to build colonies on other planets and occupy them. All this seems straight out of a science fiction novel, but we are assured that this will soon be a reality. We dream of open plains, flushing meadows, flowing rivers, lush forests and abundant resources. This too seems a fantasy today, with the world turned into a concrete jungle and with humans doubling as the alpha predators, feeding on the ‘Mother Earth’ and devouring the flora and fauna, defiling the environment and the atmosphere, making it ever difficult to live in. We ourselves are trying to fit into the ‘posh’ society, trying to enhance ourselves, present better images of ourselves in the eyes of people we may not like or even know, trying to be accepted.

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The Whore

Night as silent as she
Occasional sounds, like the
Cries that escape from her, helplessly
She sits and waits
For work, to serve her purpose
Waits to be bait

Door opens, her breath stops
“Your cheapest one, please”
The transaction is made; instant and prompt
He appears in front of her,
Bulging, impatient
She weeps for she knows she is seized

First push, closed eyes, hold on tight
Second push, defeated by his unbeatable might
Fifth push, fading dreams, fading conscious
He grunts with pleasure, she is unresponsive
Tenth push, crushed under his weight
Why am i punished to this fate?
Twentieth push, she is burning inside
He smiles and laughs, finished with pride

Bruised and battered
Choked, used, broken

This is not a woman
This is a product; reusable
A juiced fruit
A licked wrapper
A product with a brain
A product that feels pain

Leanne Patel

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The Lady by the Moonlight

Look at the flashes of those serene moonlight
So bright, so wondrous to illuminate this night
The blackness of the dark is contrasted by its white
Yet it not remains such a merriment of a sight

A lady with a hat on, walks by the lamp post
Her head bowed to the ground, anxious for something
Worries written all over her, remains as a welcoming host
‘So sedulous and quiet, the cupid army around sing’

She looks momentarily upwards with a difference in her face
As and when air of beauty enamors her meek smile
Cupids surround me to celebrate this wondrous phase
And my heart skips a beat and runs away for a mile

Her eyes speak of something untold
‘Words of love and of delightful bliss’
Her grace? Something I could forever behold
And then I give the moon its sweet little kiss

Behest all these, her face yet remains worried
I can see few teardrops bejewel her eyes
It quickly evaporates with the mist, hurried!
And then I understand the word ‘True-Lies’

Look at the flashes of those serene moonlight
So bright, So wondrous to gratify the girl’s plight
I wish to approach her, but my heart dare not might
Words said and done, for nights together I shall relish this sight…

                                                                                          – Srikar


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