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.