Lunch is usually followed by desserts. But at Happy, desserts happen over a game of carrom. Ram leads the way followed by Kartik. The others join in. Cries of ”shot machaa!” and careful instructions of how to shoot follow. If however, it’s one of those Chennai Vs Kerala matches, things heat up. Viduthalai becomes the sole custodian of the Chennai flag, while Gopi holds up a coconut. It’s nothing short of war. They might be ardent fans of football or cricket otherwise, but while playing carrom, they’re professionals with just victory on their minds. If you happen to be walking past our office on one such day, don’t let the loud cries frighten you. It’s not a violent client meeting or flying tempers, it’s just a game of carrom in progress.
The girls however don’t find the game too engaging. But on the good days, decide to come and cheer their favourite players. Talking about favourites, Michael Stanley a.k.a Vimal is a champ. The Striker. His team always wins. Kartik is the underdog, whose winning streak has got many wondering if his position (as the boss) has got anything to do with his success. He denies it with the kind of conviction he would sell an idea with. He believes that there cannot be a fluke winner in a game of Carrom. Viduthalai startles every time Kartik says that. Praddy comes early to office these days to practice Carrom, and hopes to overcome his colour blindness when it comes to coins. But he has definitely identified his retirement plan already.
The game has become so addictive, the ‘regulars’ at Happy are planning a Carrom competition very soon. As if the loud cries weren’t enough. Arathi is checking with vendors of sound-proof windows. Kartik is planning to talk to the lawyers about a possible anticipatory bail. Meanwhile, Ram has declared that there will be a Doubles event too, and now Vimal is flooded with ‘offers’. As for the Singles event, they are planning to run a Contest for the spectators – to guess who will come second.
P.S: Sponsors are invited for the Annual Happy Carrom Tourney. For details, get in touch with the ‘Board’ of Directors.