Two Cups of Coffee

Two Cups of Coffee

She is sitting alone on a small circular table by the large glass-paned window. A light rain is pouring outside. The cafe is crowded. There are old couples, a crowd of bachelors and young girls gossping in groups of threes. They are eating different snacks- brown breadies, peanut loaf, orange cantenbury, Paneer sausages and the new favourites- Trickle Tart. But more diverse are the coffees. All the ubiquitous varieties from every corner of the world are brewed and served here. “And it all began fifty two years and nine months ago”, she remembers,”With two cups of coffee.”
It was eight in the evening. The last customer had paid his bill and gone away. In this small  town, all fell silent quickly and nobody was to be seen outside after fifteen past eight. Business was bad. The new restaurant on the other side of the road had taken away all the customers.
She cleared away the tables. She was shivering slightly in the cold. She took a last glance of the restaurant which had snatched away one of the two meagre meals she had managed in the past and went in.
Chacha had lit a fire in the chimney and seemed to be brewing something, probably tea. He looked with a sad smile on the shivering girl wrapped in a torn shawl which had once belonged to her long dead mother. He motioned her to sit near the burning fire. She obeyed. With a sad glance towards the fire she thought,” How long would we be able to afford the firewood to light the chimney?” Chacha was looking at her.

She turned,”Is there no way out?”

“Conditions will improve my dear. Conditions will improve.”

“How?”

The old man passed his hand through the girl’s thin curly hair in an affectionate gesture. “God shall light the way. But you look cold my dear.Let me serve you the brew your father has sent as your New Year gift.”, said Chacha while putting the brew into the cup

“Father has?”,her eyes instantly lit up.

“Yes.”

She drank the brownish thing in the cup. It was bitter but warming.

“What is it?”, she asked.

“Coffee, it is very rare up here. It comes from Karnataka”

There was a malevolent glint in the child’s eyes,”We are going to destroy the restaurant’s business. Can you ask father to send more of ‘coffee’, lots more?”

“No girl we are not destroying anybody’s business.”

“Fine then lets raise our own business”

“What does it have to do with coffee?”

“You would see.”

“Well, its the only thing you have ever asked for.Lets see.”

Chacha wrote a letter which journeyed to a small house of a big slum in Karnataka. The person who received the letter satisfied his daughter’s only demand not knowing what use the products he has sent would have.

In Dhaba a new poster announced that a cup of coffee shall be served free if you eat a meal of Rs 25. People passed by but nobody noticed the dhaba’s announcement. In the evening regular customers came cloaked in woolen sweaters, hats and mufflers. These were the people who would search the whole town for the cheapest good. They ate their meal together and talked about local politics and criticized his or her shoes, hats or their body smell. It was followed by mimicry of Mrs.Sunita the English teacher who always liked to give everybody lectures in English whether they understood it or not. Then the coffee arrived. Everybody was mesmerized by the drink’s taste and warmth. Now they came every day and the praise of the brew spread from mouth to mouth till it had enough fame. A month went by and more and more customers poured in. The hot chocolaty coffee became the addiction of those who could not afford brandy and some of those whose who could. Now coffee began to be charged Rs.10.

Regular supplies of coffee came from her father and he was payed duly. At the time she began experiments with coffee. She brewed coffee adding different ingredients to it- From cardamon, choco chips,etc to vinegar and wine. she named it the special drink. She even took ideas from foreign TV shows. The special drink became the trend of the the place.

Now she became to improve the dhaba so that it became a cafeteria with a very different and elegant look. By the time the restaurant on the other side could start importing coffee her cafe became an abstract piece of architecture. Though small the room had large glass panes to let the sunlight come in while harsh wind remained out. It had small round tables all over the room. The two sitters were placed near the glass window on the opposite side of road so that the couples could enjoy the scenic view. On other side there were separate family booths. Noe this cafe became the main attraction of the hungry people poor or rich, miser or not. It had coffee and toast for everyone.

There had been a small loss the first year of Rs.2730, the second showed a minimal profit of Rs.5000 and the next year showed a comparatively larger profit of Rs.10,963.  After six years when she turned 18 and had already employed a manager and two waiters she decided it was time for expansion. the tiny cafe could would no longer be able to control the Christmas rush. This time she chose a plot at the center of the town. This became a success. This cafe now handled more customers than the previous one. In the successive four years she opened four successive cafes in the center or tourist spot of four successive towns. She chose to employ women as cooks who had less experience and more eagerness to experiment. So the items on the menu expanded as their price increased. The prices increased till people began to resist spending money on their favorite drink. The price was again lowered to a level liked best by the middle class and the owner.

Later coffee became the cash crop of the area. Now money began to be saved more. Profits increased and so did the no of coffee addicts. Like this the coffee empire expanded in the top of two hills- now known as the Capulus hills. Now the cafe has the biggest chain in India. The origin of this cafe is not known to anybody.

                 A lot can happen over two cups of coffee.

The Real Santa

The Santa as we imagine.

Who says Santa Claus is not real? Probably Santa is not a fat old man with a flowing   white beard. But there are real Santa, not one but many. Here is a story inspired by a real person.

Aditiya Kaur was a resident of Dum Dum, Kolkata. She was an IIT, Kharagpur graduate. A very able woman as she was, she dedicated her life teaching some rarely talented students. Almost 95% of these students joined some of the finest educational facilities available in the world.

Two of them belonged to some of the most neglected slums in Kolkata where educating a child looked like walking on the moon. One came from a far distant village where nobody knew what electricity is. Another child belong to a family in a remote corner of Himalayas where survival of people is a miracle.

Apart from teaching her hobby was travelling. Wherever she traveled, she picked up some bright students just like any person would collect a curio. To these kids, she was and still is like a Fairy-Godmother. She gave them the gifts they had never dreamed of. She used the money from her private firm for their education. This Santa won’t be giving gifts any longer. But let the world see such Santa again.Hope that I shall be of more or less help to someone.

                  Santa Claus not in name but in deed.

None are more h…

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We consider ourselves free citizens of a democratic country. But are we actually free? No we are not. We are enslaved in chains of society. We think a hundred times before doing something good till we know it is acceptable to society. We don’t think twice before doing something wrong if it acceptable to society. Society has even changed the meaning of right or wrong. Right is what is acceptable to society, wrong is that which is not. The definition of right and wrong changes with society’s whims. We change with society’s whims. If a cloth is considered fashionable by society than it is fashionable, if considered old-fashioned than it goes out of use. If a film-star wears that old-fashioned cloth then it becomes the trend of the day over-night. A person would wear it even if he likes or not. If not he would be considered unsmart, lacking personality or the stupidest thing in the world. Society leaves us with no choices. It appreciates only what he wants in another person and not what another person has.

Only a few are able to break away from the cage of society. They are the person who say,”Let public go to hell.” They are the person who rule society. In this world freedom for everyone seems impossible. Either you rule or let be ruled.

Years go by but they leave something behind!

Happy New Year to all my frnds, to all the people I want to be frnds with, to those who want to be frnd of me and to my special frnd- Jyoti.

I have just be reading a blog featured on Freshly Pressed on the failures of the resolutions taken by the blogger in 2012.( A nice one.You may read it) But yrs are not only made for the resolutions you take on new year. Years are made for teaching,for learning, for creating, in short- living. And life is full of experiences. Every second,minute, hour, day brings surprises with lots of knowledge. This year 2012 has been very special for me not because I won the school Academic Prize or got double promotion at job or  gulped down the food on my wedding but because I gained some precious knowledge which shall help me getting precious knowledge every year. Following is an experience I learned from which I learned the nature of true friendship.

This January I lay with a fracture in the hospital with no visitor to visit me in this dreadful town of either too busy or too lazy people. Then I saw Jyoti enter the ward. She is my friend. We met in class four and became best friends. Till class 10th we used to eat, play, talk and study together. I being the fat class topper and her being the thinnest girl with the lowest marks did get us fighting sometimes. We sat in a class not talking to each other for a period then one of us would poke the other. The poked person would turn away showing the back to other and when she gets another poke in the back, she joins in the poking fight. All got well again. After 10th we joined different schools and different colleges and then different jobs. The contact between us seized to be.

I thought Jyoti would have somehow heard about my fracture and run to my aid. I raised my hand with a  welcoming smile. She came to my bed and then walked past it to next bed. She began talking to its occupant.I stared at her. The occupant of the next bed was to be released and she had come to fetch her.After some time the patient got into a wheel-chair and she began taking her home, when she turned around and saw me staring at her. she frowned at me and began to ask, ” Do I know………?” but didn’t complete. Her lips parted to show paan strewn teeth and she beamed at me.” Hey Tiasa, what happened? Didn’t expect to see you.” To this I replied with some sternness. Then she began to ask questions which I had to answer. And then a conversation started which went smoothly till her the patient gave a signal that they needed to go home. Jyoti came back again the next day and the day after next and the day after that ………. till I was finally released, my leg being mended.

Like any other friends meeting after a long time we shared our experienced which had not been shared before. Apparently she had scored a bit low marks and got into a polytechnic college. She had met her future life partner there whom she married after completing course. Her husband’s mother runs a NGO. She joined it and started helping others.Apparently the patient she had come to fetch was a person who benefited from the NGO  . During this time she had taken up the habit of chewing pan which I did not like.

Her type of life is far away from that of mine. She lives in a place where I hate to come for only a short business trip. Her house is old fashioned though well maintained and furnished. She lives happily with her family and I live happily with my readers. She is engrossed in helping others while I remain engrossed with my writing.But still we understand more than anyone about each other.

A friendship once formed is not easy to break. A person once loved is not easy to forget. Though everything is forgotten in course of time, some bonds never die. God send me my best friend in time of need. Some may call it telepathy. I call it friendship. If there is a friendship let it be like this.

There have been Developments!

Protesters have reached Rashtrapati Bhavan(President’s House). Protesters jumped barricades set up by the police on Friday. Police had to use water-gun to stop the people. Anger wells up in people and the fire grows stronger day by day. I read in news papers yesterday that some improvements have been announced. They are given below-

  • Women can call 100 to seek assistance to go home at night.

  • Cops to crack down on all vehicles with tinted glasses, curtains.

  • 24-hour cover for areas around malls, discos, eateries and cinema halls. PCR vans are supposed to patrol main roads around Metro stations, major colonies.

  • Number of PCRs shall be raised from 635 to 940.

  • 5% staff from specialized police units to be deployed on night duty toll 1am.

  • All police vans shall have GPS units.

But whatever we may do, situation is not gonna change till people’s mind do. People’s mind is not gonna change till equality is created. Equality shall only be created when all women can stand on their feet. When all women become self-dependent. So girls I request you all to rise to that level where you can defy the world. stand up for your rights and do your duties responsibly. Then only the view of the men may change. 

 Remember that only a woman can save another woman.

We want justice…

Protests In Delhi

Protests are going on against the gang rape of a 23 year old girl in Delhi. She was assaulted and an iron rod struck through her. This girl is now fighting for her life in Safdarjung Hospital of Delhi. After this incident, we get a clear view of what is the state of women’s right in India. This is not the first of these incidents which has happened in India. Every day we rise to one or more such news. Women are afraid to step out of their houses now. But they have stepped out and come together to protest. We have tolerated enough. Injustice has been done to all women in this world. Any person must not be doomed to the torture this girl has gone through. The court shall decide what to do with the culprits. I request justice to be done and done fast.

Today all the women in the world and all the person who respect their mother and sister come together to end crime for all the days to come. I salute the courage of the girl who still holds on to her breadth and of those who demand for justice.

Click here to read more.

I want this site to be the start of an online campaign. If the world comes together, changes may be faster. Following are changes I think are required-

1. Bail should not be given on crimes like harassment and chemical destruction.

2. All rape cases must be fast forwarded.

3. Let security be increased. There should be more security during night.

4. The situation can not be changed till human nature is. As this is not an easy job also. Therefore it becomes necessary for women to learn self protection. I request the government to start special marshal arts training classes for girls in schools.

Do you agree with me?

Just want to know. Giving the sentence is the work of Judiciary.