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THE SMOKER's JOINT

By Siddhartha Misra All Rights Reserved ©

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Blurb

Where there are more than two minds there is bound to be an inflow of ideologies which can lead to sometimes funny and sometimes serious discussions. Such was the case of the Tea shop where a gathering of few people would go about discussing everything they could. The story depicts a frequently visible scene in various parts of India where a tea shop is the best debating podium a person need and such were these guys who would talk and talk and talk but was there going to be anything useful out of it?

The Beginning

Since his early childhood Sam was a guy who was always active physically and vocally. He was the one person who could make anyone laugh. He was the life of every party that friends used to have. He was witty and funny and loud. Sam entered into college and even there he was the same. Outgoing, merry making and always smiling, but then he went into a bad phase in his life and he went into depression for quite a few reasons and arrived at a place where he got into all the vices and started living aloof from everyone. He started ignoring his family to the extent that his father finally decided it was time to curb his wrongs, so he sent Sam away for further studies . 

Sam was depressed and frustrated now that he was away from all the luxuries that he had at home. He wanted to shout and cry but there was no one who would listen to him. So one day while drunk he took a pen and started to write on a piece of paper how he felt. It made him feel better that day so he kept doing that a few times.

He felt like what he couldn’t say he could tell by his writings. He wrote and wrote, every time he was troubled or wanted to say something he would write and so he didn’t felt need to talk to anyone. When Sam returned after completing his studies everyone could see changes in Sam’s personality. He wasn’t the chatterbox he used to be. He wasn’t the party planner he used to be. He was quiet and subtle and became a keen observer of the things around him. He started paying attention to what everyone around him had to say and then he would think about it. He started getting restless about certain topics of social wrongdoings. Even then he used writing to explain his feelings and thoughts. For him, writing had become the main mode of speaking his mind. 

Writing had affected him so much that he felt like forgetting everything else that he had ever done or learnt in his life. He would think for hours and days and would sit silently in his room writing whatever he wished to. He would stay up all night and listen to world wide news updates and think about what’s going on all around. He would dream about a place where everyone thinks before they speak or act. He would get lost in his dreams of reaching out to people or trying to make people understand his views. He was a Dreamer and as said by the great Oscar Wilde,” Society often forgives the criminal; it never forgives the dreamer”, he was made fun by everyone.

The day started as always like the usual. Getting up in the afternoon had become a habit for Sam. In fact there was nothing for him in the morning for every morning he could see everyone getting up, engaging their daily activities, going to work and such but as for him every morning brought a sense of despair not being able to do such. It wasn’t the case that he couldn’t do so but the thing was that he was very much attached to his dreams. That’s right a Dreamer he was…..

Reading through the daily articles written by those well known his dreams grew from mere hobby to a sense of purpose and what he wanted to do. It wasn’t easy as he was a member of the very puzzled part of the society the well known middle class of India with the well known problems of every single guy in such case A Desire…… a desire to be big, a desire to be famous, a desire to be someone. It was tough really tough on him with everyone looking at him with expectations and staring him in a way of making him the black sheep of the family. He wanted it to end in just a flash but he just didn’t want to give up on his dream.

As the days passed by the desperation increased day by day both for his family of him being a liability even after they had spent some considerable amount of money on his studies and his expenses and on the other hand the desperation for him trying to catch up and do what he felt he was meant to. The only thing that kept him going was the one support he had from a guy who believed that he had a way with words as he had expressed in a few ways through his poetry. Every day he used to go through the day with a hope that something just might strike up some day and with this hope he just kept going on. Sam wasn’t a very vocal guy, he could write up his heart but he just couldn’t talk about it absolutely nothing, not even to his parents who just seemed so supporting. So he had to find a way to communicate. In search for a proper place to express his views and thinking he came across the best possible stage for a thinker to say anything he wanted and to understand thinking patterns of different people on the things about normal life….. The Chai Sutta Shop……

It was a small shop with two benches placed at right angle and a table in between. With passing time Sam started spending more and more time at the Chai Sutta Shop in order to meet different kinds of people and interact with them.

Thus, started the case of the “Chai Sutta Chronicles”.

The shop, also known as the Sansad shop was a place where every evening there was a gathering where people would come for time pass, meeting other people whom they had come to know or befriended with the passing time, taking a break from home, discussing their day’s business plus one thing that seemed to be the most important topic above all the future of mankind. The topics may vary depending upon the day or the weather or some special occasion but discussion always ended up going towards a genuine concern being shown towards the future of mankind.

With time passing by and Sam spending more and more time at the Sansad, he came in contact with a few of the regulars at the shop namely, “Vijay” who was a traditional Brahmin and the true supporter of His Religion, “Sayyed” a semi religious person who reasoned and questioned things, “Abhishek” another Brahmin offspring but who practiced religion as per his comfort and finally “KK” who didn’t really cared much. Sam on one part was a sort of thinker if it should be put in that way that he didn’t really cared much about religion but had a thing for understanding practices of different religions and cultures so the talks going on at the shop intrigued him a lot and he started to participate in them just to get a feel of what people think about different topics.


(Chai- Tea; Sutta- Smoke; Sansad- Parliament)


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