The first day of 2014 began fairly well — attending the 9am New Year service at St Andrew’s Church (Kirk) with my family and then having breakfast with Besant Raj uncle and aunty at the Ashoka Hotel in Egmore. Lovely dosais, rasa vadais, sambar vadais, basundhis and coffee!
That was how we had kicked off 2013 as well. We had skipped the midnight service then too.
We then went to my brother’s new two-storied house with an open terrace (on the third) in Kodambakkam. I was impressed with it, making me realize what a folly it was to sell my 4000-square-feet house in Ambattur to buy a 1200 square-feet flat in Kilpauk Garden. That was a tradeoff for good location. In any case, it is futile to think about past mistakes!
French Loaf Trickery: On our way back home, we stopped at the French Loaf outlet in Kilpauk to buy a cake for the New Year celebration. I wanted to buy an ice-cream cake and asked for it soon after walking in. I did not think the shop had ice-cream cakes.
But the sales-person told me they had them and showed me some in the chiller. I picked a 1kg mango classic for Rs 975 or thereabouts and came home only to realize it was not an ice-cream cake, just a regular one. It was a mere chilled cake, not of the ice-cream variety which was what I wanted.
Dishonesty, Indian Tradition: The shop’s trickery was a sort of a dampener on a day that began well. Honesty in business is not something we can expect in India where deception and distortion of truth are common. Being aware of it, I should have exercised some caution and checked it out properly before making the payment. I was in mood to return to the shop to yell at the salesman.
Worse was to follow as the cake was so sweet that it was barely edible. We just had to dump it out.
Sugar, a Cheap Commodity: Sugar appears to be a cheap commodity in Chennai which is perhaps why everything from coffee to pastries is full of it.
Yesterday when I bought some fresh fruit juices at Pazhamudir Nilayam near my home I found it way too sweet. And this after telling the guy at the stall to put less sugar. The next time I have anything there I will have to tell him “no sugar”.
Not just me, my wife and children also do not like anything that is too sweet. Excessive use of sugar does not add to the taste, just spoils it!
New Addition to Family: We had some guests as well at home. My brother and his family, including his son Yashoo’s future wife Sanjula, were with us the whole day, just as they did on Christmas day.
Yashoo and Sanjula, the new addition to our family, get married on January 26 for which we will be back in Chennai again. We played Monopoly that kept us occupied for a few hours in the evening. Some fun, some noise, some quiet, some arguments and hectic packing at night to prepare for our January 3 return to Singapore brought the day to a mixed close! We are looking forward to it!
G Joslin Vethakumar