Barista Banter – Ram and Yudhishthir

Read part one of the series here – Costa Chatter – Sita and Draupadi

As Draupadi and Sita chatted in Costa sipping hot Cappuccinos, Yudhishthir finally reached heaven after scaling the mighty Himalayas. He was aghast to see Duryodhan in heaven and fought with Indra over the decision. Indra pacified him stating that Duryodhan had spent a designated time in hell but he was too great a scholar and a king to be kept there forever.

A sulking Yudhishthir ambled into Barista and stood transfixed as he came face to face with Lord Ram. His initial shock gave way to immense joy as he touched Ram’s feet who was completely immersed in ‘The Times of Heaven’ with a hot chocolate drink in his hand and a spinach and corn sandwich in his mouth.

‘Webbcobe Yubhibhtbir. I bbas bxpecbing yo,’ Lord Ram said chewing his sandwich.

‘It is an honor my lord to finally meet you.’

‘The pleasure is mine. Come sit. Where are the rest of your brothers and Draupadi?’ Lord Ram asked after gulping some hot chocolate.

‘I am not sure about Draupadi. She must be nearby. My brothers are at the Walmart store. It is almost as big as our palace on Earth. When will I have the honor to meet Sita ji?’ Yudhishthir asked as he sat next to Lord Ram.

A pained look passed over Ram’s face.

‘I don’t know where she is. She is in one of her depressing moods today. Not a single day passes when I am not reminded…’

‘Oye Ram! Here you are! I have broken my feet searching for you. This market is by God too much for my poor feet,’ Surupnakha said as she entered Barista.

Yudhishthir was flabbergasted. This demon sister of Ravan was supposed to be in hell. Why were Rakshas allowed to roam in heaven? Surupnakha glanced at Yudhishthir and her eyes went wild.

‘Oye you too are here? When did you come? Hello ji, myself Dolly,’ Surupnakha said extending her nails towards Yudhishthir’s eyes.

‘You are not Dolly, Surupnakha,’ Ram said, sighing loudly and rubbing his forehead.

‘Dolly?’ Yudhishthir’s head was spinning.

‘Aho! Dolly!’ Surupnakha said smiling and showed her long teeth.

‘I have requested Brahma numerous times not to go into the future but he doesn’t listen and creates a new wave of craziness in heaven every time he returns. Surupnakha, apparently, will be reborn as Dolly Bindra* in the future. Brahma went bonkers evading her for months as she pestered him to show Big Boss 4 on the giant screen here on which we saw Mahabharata. Ever since Big Boss was telecasted, she has changed her name to Dolly,’ Ram told Yudhishthir moving his head in exasperation. Dolly beamed. Yudhishthir could not make head or tail out of what the Lord said.

‘Why were you searching for me?’ Lord Ram asked Surupnakha.

‘Ravan asked me to give this Yo-China menu pamphlet to you. He says you should try the Chowmein. It is aphrodisiacal.’

‘Go away Surupnakha before I get angry. I have had enough of your brothers and you on Earth. I will not take this mockery anymore. Why am I even asked to share heaven with demons like you?’ Lord Ram said as his face turned red with anger.

‘Wah Wah Ram ji! You are fine sitting with this Yudhishthir? Hain ji? This guy sat like a newly wed bride waiting for her husband when Dushasan was pulling the sari off his wife making her go round and round like a spinning wheel. And you, what did you do yourself? Made your wife walk on fire! Abandoned your pregnant wife in the jungle! Hain ji? And hesitated to take her back when you met her years later when you sons had grown up? Hesitated! Hain ji? Baat karte hain!’ Surupnakha said as she banged the Yo-China menu on the table.

‘Dolly ji,’ Yudhishthir tried to intervene.

‘Oye quiet! All of us have demons inside us Ram. Demons of anger and insults, demons of guilt, demons of irresponsibility and demons of shame. I can change my appearance and look beautiful but that will not change my heart and my actions,’ Surupnakha said looking at both the men.

She then walked towards the door. Yudhishthir though he was going to faint. He gasped when Dolly suddenly turned around at the door.

‘And one more thing. Sita is sitting with Draupadi in Costa. Wait and watch. Both of you are going to get it. {Snapping fingers} Tote Ud jaenge (Your parrots will fly),’ Dolly said as she banged the door.

Ram and Yudhishthir sat dumbfound for a while. Then they gave each other an amusing smile.

‘I hope the humans turn out as intelligent as Surupnakha,’ Lord Ram said.

‘Yes, that was the whole idea. But will they be able to extract the right morals from our stories? You have seen the future. Did they learn anything from our mistakes?’ Yudhishthir asked. Ram gave him a sad look.

‘Extracting and implementing right morals are two ends of a river. You have to make a bridge across it. Unfortunately, humans are only imperfectly capable of it. The bridge keeps falling. So no, it didn’t work. But let me buy you a Latte. That always works,’ Ram said as he ordered a Latte for Yudhishthir.

As Yudhishthir sipped his Latte with relish, he saw Sita and Draupadi pass Barista, chatting like long lost sisters. He wanted Draupadi to come and meet Lord Ram but then he let go of the idea for the time being. He did not want his Latte to turn bitterer than it already was.

‘Did she win Big Boss 4?’ Yudhishthir thoughtfully asked Lord Ram.

‘God No! For all the melodrama she created to screen the programme in heaven, Brahma made sure that she didn’t.’

*Dolly Bindra is an actress who has done numerous supporting roles in Bollywood movies and television soaps. Her shot to fame was when she appeared as a wild card entry in Big Boss 4. The TRP shot through the roof after her entry as it was marked with shouting and fighting in the house on a gigantic proportion. See samples here and here.

Last part of the series  – Starbucks Snivel – Ravan and Duryodhan

[images from 1,2,3,4]

Costa Chatter – Sita and Draupadi

After Krishna’s death, Pandavas along with Draupadi started climbing the Himalayas to reach heaven. Draupadi was one of the first to drop dead while climbing and reached heaven before the others. As she roamed there, she was surprised to see an Indian version of Champs-Élysées  sprawled in one of the by-lanes. She spotted Costa Coffee, Barista, Café Coffee Day and Starbucks doing great business side by side. She had no idea what these shops sold and stood transfixed. Then a hand pressed her shoulder warmly. Scared that Duryodhan was back to eve tease her, she turned around with her most dramatic expression and saw a smiling Sita standing there.

“Draupadi?”

“Yes. Sita? Oh Hi! What a pleasant surprise!” Draupadi was shocked to come face to face with the legendary figure. She was going weak in her knees.

“Which one?” Sita said pointing to the coffee shops.

Draupadi had no idea what Sita was talking about but she did not want to be an ignorant fool in front of a legend. She raised a finger at a random shop.

“Costa? My favorite!”

As both of them settled in their seats and ordered two cappuccino, Draupadi was taken aback by the laid back ambience. It was something she had never experienced before.

“Where did this idea come from?” she asked Sita.

“Oh! Brahma went into the future and drank a cup of Latte at Barista. He was so hypnotized by the taste that he drank 78 cups per head that day, met the owner and convinced him to open an outlet in heaven. The rest they say is history.”

The Cappuccinos arrived and Draupadi had her first taste of Costa Coffee. She looked at Sita with amazement in her eyes.

“That look on the face of first timers always makes me so happy,” Sita beamed. She studied Draupadi as she gulped her coffee.

“I saw what happened in Mahabharata. We had a giant screen here in heaven. You won’t believe the kind of frenzy it created here.  Brahma told us that the euphoria will be unparalleled till a lady called Ekta Kapoor will be born on Earth and kill someone called Mihir Virani.”

“Yes, it was all terrible. So much blood. So many families destroyed. Both of us were a part of terrible wars. So many people died and for what?” Draupadi said looking at Sita.

“You do realize that we will be blamed for both the wars, don’t you? People will always say that it was Draupadi and Sita who started the wars,” Sita said with a glum expression on her face.

“It is always beauty that is at fault, never the lack of a spine.”

Both of them sipped their coffee in silence for a while.

“So, 5 husbands, eh? Lucky you!” Sita said suddenly to lift the mood.

“It was exhausting!” Draupadi said rolling her eyes. Both of them laughed.

“How the hell did you end up with all 5 of them? I thought it was Arjun who married you?”

“Don’t ask! They were so obedient that they blindly did what their mother said even by mistake but when it came to blindly breaking someone’s neck for disrobing me, they turned a blind eye.”

“You’re telling me! My husband abandoned me in a bloody jungle all by myself just because he could not stand all the suspicious talk. I was pregnant at that time, dammit! And he did not even had the courtesy to do it himself. He made Laxman do it.”

“I know. I have read it a hundred times and it never made sense to me,” Draupadi said as she gently held Sita’s hand.

The air had suddenly turned acerbic. The coffee was going cold.

“Do you hate them?” Sita asked wiping a lone tear.

“Should I? I hated them with all my heart when Dushasan was trying to throw me naked in front of the whole court, when Duryodhana asked me to sit on his lap. You cannot imagine the rage that filled me. I shudder to think what would have happened if Krishna would not have helped. But then the war happened. I washed my hair with Duryodhana’s blood when it ended. Now there is no rage in my heart but love cannot mend every crack,” Draupadi said with a sad smile.

“Duryodhan is in heaven. I saw him at the Apple store the other day,” Sita said.

“Is he?” Draupadi said giving a surprised look.

“Yes. He served some time in hell but then Indra put him back in heaven.”

“Well, then he must be having a great time with Ravan,” Draupadi said sipping her coffee.

Sita mulled over Draupadi’s answer. If Gods can forgive a prince and a king for molesting a woman because he was a great scholar or a valiant warrior, then the tides have truly turned. They have set an example that would reverberate through centuries.

“Do you hate Ram?” Draupadi asked.

“There is a difference between your situation and mine. You were let down by your husbands before the war. Mine let me down after it,” Sita said as she picked up her coffee giving Draupadi a thoughtful look.

Darupadi nodded. She had her answer.

“Its gone cold,” Sita said and smiled.

“What are they playing?” Draupadi said pointing at a couple in the café.

“Scrabble. Want to try it?”

“Sure!”

Sita got up and picked up the game from a shelf nearby. She explained the rules to Draupadi and quickly placed 6 tiles in the centre of the board to start the game.

B.I.T.T.E.R

“So tell me about Krishna. I saw him today at Starbucks in a deep discussion with Ram,” Sita said as she ordered another coffee for both of them.

“I will. First tell me more about Mihir Virani,” Draupadi said as she placed her tiles in the rack.

Next part – Barista Banter – Ram and Yudhishthir

[images from 1,2,3]