'Come on Sam, just 20 needed from last two overs,' shouted one of his teammate from the stand.
The bowler, enraged after the previous delivery, attempted a yorker on to the middle stump and which to his dismay went on as a low full toss. Sam, without making any mistake, launched it over the long-off fielder to a huge six. He then played back-to-back lofted cover drive, playing a good length delivery slightly outside off-stump and a over-pitched delivery that crossed the fence. Sam thought of finishing it off in style with a powerful six and targeted a good length delivery from middle stump line towards the long off. This time he didn't get the elevation right as the ball landed safely onto the long-off fielder. That is when he realised that it's the last wicket and his superciliousness had cost him and his team a defeat. However, everyone including the opponents applauded him, delighted by his single-man show.
Sam, somehow convinced with his performance, collected his bag from a teammate and started walking towards his bike. Suddenly, he sensed a movement inside his bag and it was his mobile-phone which was on vibration mode. The name Sara popped up while the mobile continued vibrating. Before he could answer the call, the ring went off adding a count to the existing missed call roll.
'16 missed call? Oh shit!' he stopped for a moment.
Sam promised to take his girlfriend out that night. But as usual he forgot when he got hold of the bat and ball. As he was scratching his head to come up with some plan, he was interrupted with another call from the same number. He answered the call hesitantly and started, 'Hey dear!'
‘You will never change right?’ she spoke in a warm tone.
‘No dear, I was just...’ he couldn’t complete.
‘You will never change. It’s my mistake to keep on expecting things from you. I am being a fool here in this relationship,’ her voice faltered.
‘No darling, I was about to call you. You...’
‘Please don’t call and disturb me anymore,’ she yelled and cut the call.
Sam tried calling her many times for which she was rather uncared for. Distressed by his own behaviour and incessant avoidance by Sara, he tossed his mobile on the ground in rage, which was saved by the sand mound.
He then controlled himself and stooped to take his mobile from the stack. Wiping the screen, he saw a facebook notification that said SuperChef Chennai Food Carnival.
He is damn sure that Sara would love to visit that place and try out dishes from various cuisines as she is a big-time foodie. If at all there is something that chills her down, that's food.
He straight away bought two passes from their website (www.superchefchennai.com) via his mobile and immediately opened whatsapp and started typing under the name Sara,
Hey sweetie I'm really sorry for not attending ur calls.
I dint forget our plan today.
Just planned for a surprise!
His eyes were fixed onto the screen endlessly for about ten minutes, then the word typing appeared under her name. He felt some tingling sensation from inside his stomach after seeing it and waited excitedly for her words.
With a gong, a word flashed on his whatsapp,
It was just a single word but he knows it has many connotations. One among that is she wants to go out. He then typed, 'Come to EA, pls' and got an instant reply that said, I'm in EA, which took him aback. Composing himself he typed, come near the entrance. He then took his bike and hustled to the spot from his office, which stood on alwarpet.
There he saw her standing near the entrance, her glossy eyes was fixed at her mobile. He realised his mobile is vibrating at that moment, it's her. Sliding the call icon aside, he gazed her from distance. Her eyes sparkled as the call was answered.
'Sara, this way,' he waved watching her all along.
As he watched, Sara pointed his gesture and started walking towards him with an endearing stare. Sliding her curls aside, she approached him, her eyes got deeper. With a timid grin, she punched him on his shoulders and got behind him.
'Idiot,' she embraced him with a glistening smile.
'Oh I missed it.'
'I'd love to go for long ride like this. What do you say?'
'Of course we can but tell me where are we going.'
Her question brought him back to the reality. Winding the accelerator he said, 'Alright, hold on tight my dear.'
'But where are we going?' she literally screamed.
'Not yet,' he winked and raised further.
In about 15 minutes, they reached one of the city's heritage structure, Amir Mahal. Standing at the centre of the city, triplicane, the home of the prince of Arcot wore a gargantuan look from outside. They went through the gigantic archway featuring the name, Amir Mahal, and reached the ground.
'Here we go,' he said and turned around to see her stunned looks.
'Food carnival?!' she looked absolutely astonished.
As she got down from the bike, she was dumbfounded by the array of enticing food stalls from diverse cuisines seated on the ground.
She could see nasi degang - a Malaysian dish consisting of rice steamed in coconut milk and fish curry, tom kha gai - a Thai chicken coconut soup. Also there were some lip-smacking Australian BBQ tossed up with shrimp and Japanese Ramen - soupy noodles that is rich in flavours.
Finally, her eye balls puffed out after seeing the kladdkaka cakes - Swedish sticky chocolate cake. She was in fact yearning for this cake soon after watching it in MasterChef.
Sam was delighted to see her excitement and happy that his surprise worked. She turned around to him gave a tight hug and said, 'You are the best.'
p.s. this post was written to promote SuperChef Chennai, which is running for the cause. SuperChef Chennai is a city wide cooking competition for amateurs and semi professional cooks - open to men, women and children with a passion for cooking, aged above 15 for the general category, and 10-14 years for the Junior SuperChef category. The event calls for registrations for Amateur Adults in Team or Individual categories and for Kids of ages 10-14 years in the Junior category. In addition, this year also includes a new category of semi-professionals that is culinary students or chefs-in-training that raise the bar, drama and excitement in the SuperChef kitchen. All proceeds go to charity in the form of support to long standing health and education projects as well as to support the long-term rehabilitation of Chennai Flood victims. In addition this year, they are hosting a SuperChef Chennai Food Carnival on 21st Feb 2016 (Sunday) at Amir Mahal grounds, Royapettah, with exclusive food vendors for Chennai Foodies. To get passes for food carnival or register for the competition visit www.superchefchennai.com
The Carnival Reviewed by T R Gowthama on 10:35 Rating: