In a particular sense of disbelief for myself, I sit at one front corner of the coffee house. Its an amusingly stupid choice I consider, for of course unknown reason. May be because all the sockets for plugging in any thing that need to charged are at one private lonely corner in every room you go, the same is the case for this place. If you need charging up, go to a lonely corner of the room. However, that's not the point. The point is how so ever, I strive through the day to keep up my charming self, I realized the "routine" prevailed and before it could turn blasé, I decided to drop in to this coffee house. With the meandering thought to relax, enjoy a coffee over news in print and kill time. Or may be to kill my sense of time, which I guess is already dead, but anyways. And like usual, some one had taken diligent effort to loose middle pages from the news paper, which supposedly had continuation of stories from front page. Finally I browsed over the supplement. Going over the movies screened and gossip in the world. No matter individual opinions, those are the new items that are trendy and make up for a well-informed gentleman these days. By gentlemen, I mean the groomed guys with well-groomed girls behaving in a well-defined fashion, updated with the gigs in the city, the movies screened in multiplexes etc etc. Before even a glass of water arrives at the table, I was over with the supplement with slight disappointment for it not having the slightest provocation I was sometimes secretly look for. May be because I would like that old tradition of deriving pleasure from pictures in magazines and paper to be continued in the modern age. As a mark of respect for the print.
Eventually, I gave up and left myself to favorite daydreaming looking straight at the red wall in front of me. The only thing I could manage is to over hear people talking. And I thought of coffee houses as place, where people enthusiastically or politely share experiences, adventures of life. Talk about nostalgic memories. Engrossed in intellectual discussions about Asian economic powerhouse being exploited by west. If that's too much expectation then talk on various forms of Art, Cult Movies, Vintage Classics. Discussions about fascism, omnipresent racism and these days reverse racism or whatever. A relook at great human history or music or whatever, some thing that was of higher order than the pedestrian life. But that was not to be. Sometimes, you just end up hearing a couple engrossed in solving the mysteries of life and discussing the color of curtain matching with wall paper and furniture linen and last but not the least, the families budget. Then I realized that the pattern for wall-paper itself was not frozen between them. All homely chores put forth open on the their table and of others. Life can be sweet, I think. I guess that's the problem in the world, choice and garnering the courage to exercise it. Then the society committee members start allotting the parking lot. All I could conclude at this hip-hop coffee shop is that my perception of the world has been always skewed. And may be I was wrong.
It is really not far in time, when I used to be sitting out side on shabby but neat chai shop during the college days. Under the cool shade of a tree, under a little shack, over the warm cement, in a little known tinsel town. We had the newspaper, even Economic times subscribed to a place with no address. The paper boy knew the place, the owner of the place knew the subscribers, the subscribers knew the editors. The guys would just drop-in, bypassing all roads, that go to classes with benches and blackboards. Greet each other with abuses rushed like love letters, smiling and bursting into laughter and dig into the newspaper finding sections of individual interests, snatching and grabbing from hand to hand. And the humble guy would keep smiling and scoffing and keep blabbering and pulling legs of each one. He would serve cups of tea one after another, back to back without any one requesting it. Tea was brewed continuously-masala, special, with ginger, lemon tea, whatever, take or leave it was the attitude. The chat would range from the elections, to international crisis, from virtues of god and evil, truth about right and wrong. Opinions formed on how cruel and smart the state of Israel has been and how fool hardy the leftist in the country are. When guys were peculiarly enthused and curious about the world. All that now sounds peculiarly naïve unless coming from the sexy news anchor over television. I guess maturity calls for being focused in life and execute the little things which make it up. May be that's not a bad idea altogether.
But watching all the cuties walking around makes me think I would be fool to look for Nazi history at this moment. And to be very honest people discuss a lot of issues which are absolutely attached like leech to the ground reality of survival and happy life. And may be these are the issues which make up a general life and not the nuke deal. But that's all because I have never made up my mind on any issue I feel. With certain people every things ok as long as it comes without much hassles.
Sometimes, I have this strong opinion that the world has been always like this. That the coffee house during the earlier days would have had the same comfortable environment riddled with trivial petty issues. Because solution to all the little things in life has made life what it is now. And constant pondering on little issues is what keeps an other wise empty time filled with some purpose to pass it away. Achieve one goal, set another and get on to the next one. Some crazy guy would have found it extremely inconvenient to go far away to fetch a cigarette and would have discovered the wheel. Wheel to roll the world. And the life went into circles. That's how it is. Some crib and some do something about it. That could be a very possible argument to encourage all the society people and squabble about society troubles and the couple should squabble about each other coming late in spite of thousand mediums to commune. And people wasting half the time making up their mind to choose the perfect dish for all the value of their money. But a brilliant idea would born out of all this. And some how I find the most amusing, interesting and amicable person is this guy gyrating to the beats of the music from the speakers, tapping his feet gently on the floor and watching her girl friends lips move to talk to empty air. And shes so lost in talking her heart out. Pretty cute.
All this is while I feel the eyes behind my back. How could one come with a coherent stream of thoughts in such madness. All I realize is that to communicate with each other has become extremely important substance for a creative out come these days. And may be that s why people , these days, are talking so much.
In a pedestrian life like this you really can expect a great journalistic work, but not from me, and before I loose it all, I can loose a piece of my mind.
But surprisingly the bill came with a nice little hand written note, " Dear Guest, it was nice having you … ( a smile).. keep coming ! " . For a moment it felt like honor to a skewed patron but then it appears it was just another new customer retention marketing strategy to have a mind share for the brand. I don't know, where should I put my beliefs?
May be that's what people talk so much for a genuine sense of belonging in this world taking an over bearing exercise to make their presence being felt. The thing is make your presence feel for the listener.
---CCD, GhatkoparP.S: A few days later, I noticed, the thanks giving note was presented to me yet another time in another coffee shop. It was also hand written to give a sense of personal touch. They give it to every customer.