Friday, March 27, 2009

The 7-year itch: How tnt crept into our lives, our schedules and our lingo

Who said there can be too much of a good thing? We disagree strongly. There can never be too much chocolate, too many hugs, too much gossip and laughter, shoes....and tnt. Yes, it helps that we're book fiends, that we're happier wandering through literary aisles than malls. But tnt has gone from being workplace to hang-out spot to home to simply a way of life.

Tia says: Tnt pops up in the most unexpected ways. I'm sitting with a glass of hot rasam right now as I write, and my first thought as I sipped was, 'Boss puts more ghee in hers.'

Jahnavi says: My exams are coming up, and full-fledged studying is on. Or at least supposed to be on. (Tia wrote that, Boss, it wasn't me!) Most evenings, after a day of swotting at my books, I would get in the car and drive to the Store, just to spend an hour there. Just because.

Tia says: Spikeyand I are chatting online most of our working hours. Or is it waking hours, Spikey??? Her first question to me when I log on isn't 'Hi', or 'How are you?' it's 'How's the Store?' Ok, maybe sometimes, she starts off with 'What's up?' and THEN says 'how's the Store?' but that's rare.

Jahnavi says: Two days ago, my friend and I were getting Cadbee's in Aundh. Now, everyone knows that you cannot have a Cadbee just anywhere. You can't have it while walking down any old street! A Cadbee has to be had someplace with a buzz, with atmosphere. But, a sign just outside the Store (which I made myself!) says 'No food and drinks allowed inside.' So I figured, what the heck, maybe we can sit on the steps outside the Store and have our Cadbees there. We didn't, ultimately, but it was the first place I thought of!

Tia says: Whenever we want to meet up, or are uncertain about where to meet, or are just generally uncertain, we go to the Store. I don't know if I should have a quiet birthday or invite everybody I know and have a huge bash. Uncertainty - head to the Store! Should I spike my hair today or wear it flat. Uncertainty - head to the Store. In fact, heading to the Store doesn't have to have a reason. We go to look at books, look at new employees (especially if they're male!) and just to feel wanted.

Jahnavi says: There are those who envied Tia and me while we were working at the Store. Some of them managed to edge us out and get our jobs, and now they envy us because they've moved to different citites while we continue to be within driving distance of the Store. They, on the other hand have to get onto trains (sometimes without a ticket) to get here. But they still come back.

Tia says: Initially, when we met Potential Guys, it was all about humour, height and dimples, not necessarily in that order. Now, it's all about 'Ooooh, he bought The Book of Nurturing , he's my type! Of course, in some people's case, it could be all about muscular legs and management books! Or it could be, 'Awwwww, he bought The Diary of Anne Frank, he's our kind of guy!'
Tnt has, in many ways re-affirmed my faith in That Gender Which I Do Not Understand aka men! The acronym ULM was coined at tnt. It stands for Utterly Lovable Man, and we have met quite a few of these, while at the Store.

Jahnavi says: There are umpteen stories and happenings which Tia claims are Insanely Important. But I think the fact that it is 1:08 in the morning and my exams are less than a week away and that Tia has been typing with her cell-phone wedged between her ear and her shoulder for the past hour is testament to how much tnt is a part of us.
And so, from two tireless tnt-ians (with a little help from Spikey in Mumbai) to all you wonderful people who made it happen, to a small slice of joy tucked away in a little pocket in Aundh, a very happy birthday!

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