Skip to main content

My Coke, My Pain

Being a bank employee my dad was eligible to avail annual leave travel concession. Since the annual concession will only be for a very minimal amount, we used to combine the holidays over a period of five years which helped us cover more distance with a larger amount at disposal. One such trip was to Visakhapatnam, the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command. Mom’s brother was a commander in Navy and obviously they were our host for the vacation that year.

My brother and I had great company there with two of our cousin brothers who were almost the same age as us. We did have quite a lot of fun together day and night with games throughout, even ignoring the warning from the parents to sleep at night. I remember watching a black and white movie named Victoria over and again for multiple times at a stretch which today seems like an absolutely crazy thing to do! We didn’t care. We were having one of the best vacations ever!

The highlight of the vacation of course was a visit to the naval yard where uncle took us to the wonderful world of Indian Navy. I was excited and equally proud to be visiting a war ship! I could imagine multiple pairs of eyes, green with envy, looking at me when I get back to school and narrate all the wonderful stories to my friends. Truly this was meant to be an experience that was unique to me and something which no one else could’ve shared.

The dock was colored gray with multiple naval ships stationed there. Uncle took us to his ship and opened the fascinating world of Indian military for us! We were welcomed aboard by a couple of white naval uniform clad gentlemen. They promptly took us to a briefing room sort of arrangement and told us a few things we need to know while being on the ship. We were to mind the heights of the doors since they were pretty low which naturally didn’t apply to me. Small mercies of being a little kid :)

A few additional instructions were given and while this was going on another smart officer entered the chamber. He carried a tray with him on which was placed one of the most enticing sights I’ve ever experienced till then. Four bright colored cans painted with the legendary red color on which that magical word was written – Coke! That was my first ever introduction to Coke and a carbonated drink sealed in aluminium can!

The can was chilled to perfection to ensure that the beverage tasted the best. All the known definitions till date about chilled drinks suddenly seemed dated! I was so thrilled to see a can for the first time in my life that I was enjoying the beauty of it rather than trying to open and taste the drink. The officer suggested that it was time we took a tour of the ship. He must’ve noticed how amused I was about the can that he specifically said that I could take the can along with me.

The can was quite cold that I could hardly hold it with my bare hand. Mom being protective about her little one suggested that we’ll leave the can at the chamber itself, take the tour and come back and collect it. I agreed only after opening the can and taking a sip of it. We walked out of the door of the briefing room while the Coke can seem pleading, ‘Come back for me’!

The tour of the ship followed which was an absolutely mesmerizing experience. All the while seeing the different sections permitted in the ship my thought went back to that red aluminium can that seemed to be even more appealing than the gray object that surrounded me.

We finally finished the tour and reached where we began. I was so happy to see the briefing room again and eagerly jumped inside the chamber and looked at where we left the cans. To my utter shock and surprise I couldn’t see my beloved prize I received just a few moments back. I searched all over the room and to my dismay could still not find the can that contain the life giving brown color liquid that was to be one of the biggest highlights of the stories to my friends.

I asked my uncle about it and his answer left me with a total vacuum, that I felt it would’ve been better if that ship sunk right at the moment. He said, ‘Oh, you left the can there and the boys would’ve thought it was a leftover and trashed them’.

I could feel the chillness on the can creeping across my little heart. I felt a pain that was quite deep and it still remains…

Comments

  1. :-) It was a nice read. I am surprised you you remember all of it with such clarity.

    Your next coke can is on me :-)

    RGDS
    JOE

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Gejo: Guess it was an experience that made quite an impact on me :) Thanks for the offer, will take that ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gud u remember so vividly bout da Coke Can, most f em recall similar xperience bt da can wud hv KF written ovr it ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Four bright colored cans painted with the legendary red color on which that magical word was written – Coke! "
    Are you sure it was written - Coke or Coca-Cola ?

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Anon: I think it was Coke itself though I could be wrong. A quick search shows Coke cans with 'Coke' printed big during 1980s. http://mycokecollection.blogspot.ae/2009/03/coke-can-nz-over-years.html

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Mesmerizing Mauritius!

Couple of decades back whenever there was a need to get anything done related to passports or flight tickets, I remember visiting one of the travel agency offices in my hometown. One of the most interesting attractions in the office was the wall that was beautifully adorned with posters of quite a few destinations across the world. Among everything on the wall, one poster always caught my attention. A lovely white sand beach with beautiful emerald green waters with pine trees lining the borders of the beach! It was a scene right out of a fairy tale.
Twenty years down the line, I now stand with the emerald green waters kissing my feet bringing along with it the lovely white sand blanketing my ankles and right behind me I can see the pine trees still lining the borders of the beach. Yes! I am in Mauritius!
It was a family vacation my wife, Ruby and I planned along with our son and daughter, Ryan and Mia, five and one year old each. We had our reservations about travelling with kids; yet …

Glorious Gokarna!

Gokarna [Nov 2008]
Genre: Multi-day trip

Bangalore to Gokarna
Buses VRL/Sea Bird/KSRTC
Train – A station 6 kms from Gokarna
Ø Roads are really bad. If you plan in advance, take a train

Duration – 10 to 12 hours by bus

Local Travel – Auto – Expensive – You could bargain
Almost 10 kms from Gokarna town to Om Beach
BeachesOm Beach – Biggest with multiple cafes
Kudle Beach – Water is better
Half Moon Beach
Paradise

Places to Stay
Namaste Cafe – At Om Beach – Pretty nice bath attached rooms with electric power & good food – Rs 400 to 600 per day
Skylark Cafe –Solar powered Shacks – Common Bathroom – Rs 200 to 300 per day
There are many other cafes around (Dolphin Café, Sunrise Café)
If you prefer to stay at some luxury resorts, you do have some options for that too there.
Other interesting factsThere’s a German café on the Kudle beach
You could trek and reach the other beaches around, which is fun. Alternatively you could take the boats available which will cost you Rs 50 per head
Ensure that…

Yes! It is my business!

Article for Bethlehem Matrimonial - Mar 2017

A few years back during my higher studies in a city outside Kerala, a bunch of friends including a few boys and girls, paid a visit to a classmate’s home. We all had a good time there and soon it was time for lunch. Needless to say it was a sumptuous treat and at the end of it we got up and was about to take the plates to the kitchen. The host was literally shocked to see us do that and asked us boys not to do that whereas there was no objection for the girls to take the plates to the kitchen. I for a moment thought about my home where my mom ensured that, my brother and I were given the tasks to do everything possible at home to the extent that we almost had a roster for doing the chores!
We see a lot of families around us sharing responsibilities. Some even have a practice of dividing the responsibilities between the husband and wife. While this definitely helps in getting the work done there is a bit of risk with this approach. The divisio…