Evening at Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 2015
and so does everything around... the situation, the people, the perspective, the needs.... and we too change.... the wise and courageous seek change.. because only change is constant!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

61. What Matters Is…

One of my young friends wanted to celebrate. So, we went to a famous coffee shop.

He ordered me, “Read normally, and don’t practice your Urdu here.”
No, I cannot read Urdu. But the boy knows how we- GenO (meaning generation old) behave. When it comes to reading menu cards in hotels, I read like Urdu, from right to left. Looking at the price, I decide whether a particular food item is ‘worth’ ordering. So does his father and mother. The boy had watched three of us helplessly during his teens. Now he is earning loads of money. Many times when especially the young generation talks about their salary, I get confused. What I think as their annual salary is actually their monthly salary. And also their expenditure patterns and amounts are beyond my grasp.

“What would you have?” the boy asked.
“Isn’t it just a coffee shop?” I asked.
“Common aunty, there are many things which you can consume before, with and after coffee. Name it and you will have it. Please aunty, don’t bother about the costs, and don’t give me any lecture now. I want to spend money for you. Don’t spoil my moment”, he pleaded. Realizing his sentiments, I decided to enjoy the moment. But in such restaurants, I cannot understand the dish by just reading names. Cheese Sandwich was the only item I could understand, so I decided to take it. And I like cheese sandwich. The young man went and brought it for me. He was sorry that I chose such a simple dish.

We ate. We chatted. I am a good listener. Actually his parents are my friends, but he too is my friend. Because I write blog, I chat, I am on orkut and facebook; he feels that I am much better than his parents!! So, he shares many things with me. He trusts me.

Then it was time for coffee. It was a self service kind of coffee shop. I too went to the counter.
“Coffee”, I answered to the man (again a young man) on the counter.
“With sugar or without sugar?” was the next question. I wanted sugar.
“How much sugar?” the third question. I answered that too.
“You would like to have milk? “ I answered.
"Hot or cold, M'am?" the next one was ready.
“Would you like to have cream?”
I lost my patience. Little irritably and little humorously I said, “I just want a good cup of coffee. How many questions you are asking my dear young man!”

He must have been used to irritation of people of my age. But he was a witty boy. “If you want something of your choice in life, madam, you have to ask and answer many questions.” He answered coolly.

I was surprised. I smiled. “That is what a Philosophy professor was saying to his friend the other day.” He honestly explained. Then he smiled at me and turned to the next customer.

Yes, he was right. One has to go through unending questionnaire before finally getting what one wants. I appreciated the idea.

After few months, I went to Kanyakumari and Pondicherry. I like to travel alone. After reaching Kanyakumari, I went to the canteen. And I asked for a cup of coffee.

And I get a hot cup of coffee, with just the right taste and right aroma. I enjoy the cup of coffee not only one or two days but for about ten days. I don’t have to ask and answer questions. I do not have to split my head over issues like quantity and quality. Without any headache I get what I want. I am content with what I get. I am satisfied. I am fully convinced that whatever I am paying is fully justified because of the returns.

I was just comparing the two situations. The first was trying too much to get what you want and the second was getting your wishes fulfilled automatically. Ultimately what mattered in both the situation was ‘a good cup of coffee’.

Sometimes we are caught in the first situation and some other time we are lucky enough to be in the second situation. Life is combination of both. If one is lucky enough, one would get a congenial atmosphere. So, without trouble one would achieve. With hard luck, one will have to find way through the 'not so congenial' surroundings.

What ultimately matters is to achieve what we want to achieve.


  1. All for just a cup of 'Kapi' :D ... yeah I too get irritated at times trying to answer the questions :D for exact customization... You have highlighted a very relevant philosophy through coffee experiences :D

  2. As said at the end of the post, its true - LIFE IS COMBINATION OF BOTH. One could get things without trouble and one has to do a hell lot hard work and still has to strugle.

    Bye the way.. I also used to practice Urdu in my old days.. now a days I feel that practicing Udru was a good habit its not abt GenO - its abt the deciding 'worth' of perticular item/stuff.

    At last, I used to think abt the caption "A lot can happen over a coffee" now I realised, how one could think a lot on a cup of Coffee !!!

  3. Loved the post.. :)
    How you have compared the two situation is thought-provoking.. :)
    Congenial friends are of utmost importance for contented life... :)

  4. it is a matter of choice and change of lifestyle.you can turn anything into philosophy.

  5. The kapi gets me very nostalgic ! Anytime is Kapi time !

    And the urdu writing was a neat one. So was Gen-O !!

    Enjoyed the post !

  6. Dhiman, yes 'Kapi' .. I have almost forgotten the word! Thanks.

    Kiran, instead of 'over a cup of coffee' it is 'on a cup of coffee'.. I liked your idea.

    Amit, thanks. Unfortunately, many times we have to walk through 'not so congenial atmosphere, but if we get what we want, then it is alright.

    Nutan, lifestyle and philosophy go hand in hand...

    Kavi, for me too anytime is Kapi time!

  7. Sometimes, even after they ask too many questions, they don't get the coffee right. No, I did not mean life! I meant the modern coffee shops :)

  8. I am probably the Generation-O-O-O, and I tried one of these Coffeeshop places so acronymically popular with the youth today.

    While I dont have a favourable printable comment on their products, their coffee is not a patch on good old decoction filter kapi.

    Steel tumblers and coffee poured from heights. The aroma. The waiting..

    Eat your heart out, CCD.

    Great post, by the way ....

  9. smiles with a depth so meaningful!
    loved it!

  10. Sojo, yes, the customized coffee is not always good.

    Ugich Konitari, hope some CCD person takes our feedback into account and introduce tumbler-served-decoction kapi.. then we may love CCD.

    Thanks magiceye..

  11. hi,
    Very well written, simply loved the post.
    The coffee at any of the cafes cannot be compared to filter coffee. They can never come even close to filter kapi.

  12. Thanks Harsha. I guess we can have a 'Kapi club' now :)


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