Cafes Don’t Just Serve Coffee, There’s A Story Brewing In Every Cup!
There I was, once again, sitting on my favorite table at my favourite coffee shop. As I took the first sip of coffee and switched on my laptop, I could not help but notice a woman, about 30-years-old, on the table close to mine, trying to hide her tearful eyes with what seemed to resemble a paper folder. On her table I noticed a pile of papers that looked like medical reports. A man, almost the same age as her, came to her with two cups of coffee. He took a seat next to hers and gently placed his hand on the woman’s shoulder, as if trying to comfort her. She started wiping her tears as the man, almost certainly her husband, continued talking to her in a consoling manner. From whatever conversation I could overhear, it seemed that the couple had been facing trouble conceiving children, and were returning from a hospital after consulting yet another medical expert. But the good part was that her husband was still hopeful, and after much effort he eventually made her smile. I had never seen her before but I felt so much relief as she finally took a sip from her cup. I realised it brought a faint smile to my face.
I started working on my assignment as I enjoyed my hazelnut cappuccino. The music at the coffee shop was pretty soothing and went well with the theme of the place. I was humming along to the song, when the rhythm was broken by sudden burst of laughter from somewhere. It was a group of young girls and boys entering the café. The place almost shook in the hustle bustle. One boy kept imitating some woman, apparently one of their teachers. Two girls from the group were describing the way some of their seniors dressed up, while the others continued laughing and sharing more jokes. Anybody could make out they were returning from a farewell ceremony for their seniors. And frankly they didn’t need any coffee to give them a kick. They already had it, and just wanted to be at a place far from their school or homes where they could just be themselves.
Three tables away I noticed a group of people, all dressed up in traditional wear with one young woman dressed up really well in a beautiful salwar-kameez, sitting opposite a young boy. Both of them were surrounded by the two sets of parents, and probably one friend each. A few minutes later, the boy and the girl were shifted to a separate table where they were served their respective orders, they didn't seem to be really enjoying their beverages and tried to start conversing, half successfully. The air of awkwardness on both the tables made it obvious they were not here to dine , this was a ‘matrimonial meeting’.
I also noticed tables taken by couples, some college-going, some middle-aged, some married, some of them were engrossed in each other, ignoring the menu on table, while others gazed outside, enjoying the surroundings. At another table I saw two young men discussing serious money transactions. Whereas, at a distant corner was seated a group of students surrounding their old professor. At one table there was a group of women with their children of various age groups, apparently former colleagues meeting after few years. And at another place there were three colleagues cribbing about their current boss.
These scenes made me wonder: Are all these people really here to have coffee? Yeah, a lot of them had ordered it, but was that the sole reason for these different sets of people to be here. What I saw that day were not different people from different backgrounds, with different reasons to be there. On each table, I saw a unique life story, some people were trying to run away from present, a few were dying to relive the past, and several others were making plans for future.
Now, you’re wondering about me? Well, I got another story, an unintended peek into reality, and another realisation... It is not just coffee!