Table for two

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Sketch by Natoly

It’s 9-30 am, first Sunday of August. Hakuna Matata is a cozy little place on the busiest part of the town. It’s famous in the town for their delicious breakfasts and amazing coffee. Being early Sunday morning, streets are rather quiet. As luck would have it, it’s drizzling. Just like a year ago. Kishore is waiting for Ramaa, right at the corner, where he was waiting last year, in blue denim and white shirt. White and blue, her favorite combination. They had planned this celebration breakfast last week only. It was his idea to celebrate the anniversary on first Sunday of August rather than on the date. Kishore knew he is 15 min early as usual and Ramaa is going to be late. She loves to make him wait.
Kishore enjoyed these waits, even today, he is imagining how her entry would be. Will it be like it was a year before, or will there be something different? After sharing nice friendship for a couple of years, Kishore has opened his heart on the first Sunday of August last year. Kishore’s mind flew back to last August.
Kishore was very nervous when he reached the cafe. He had decided to take this step with a tension of losing her friendship. He had arranged morning coffee with the very specialty of Hakuna Matata, delicious crisp parmesan omelet. He knew her love for cheese and coffee. He was dressed in very casual jeans and a t-shirt. He had booked the table by the same window out of which he was waiting very eagerly.
After making him wait for half hour, Ramaa showed up at the place. They shook hands, followed by side hug and he led her to the table he had kept ready for them. Soon they were seated, the waiter greeted them and served the coffee. Ramaa was shocked by this prompt service. Hakuna Matata was famous for delayed service. It was the exact reason for it being famous among couples and people who wanted to have long chats. Aroma of coffee hit the brain and she thanked Kishore for coffee and sipped it. Kishore was almost frozen in his mind as the moment of confession was nearing. He was almost silent.
Ramaa on the other hand, unaware of the storm in his mind, was busy chattering as usual. But suddenly it ringed in her head and she paused. She spanked his hand and asked, “Kishore, what’s happening dude, not a word since I am here? Have you left your tongue at home?” and suddenly he burst out, “Ramaa, will you be my girlfriend? I love you very much”
This was not anything like Kishore had imagined. The moment passed, words were out and now he couldn’t change it at all. He was cursing his tongue, why didn’t he just kept silent like he was before. His face was almost flushed with helplessness. Ramaa was also stunned and jaw dropped for a second and the wave of laughter hit her. She was laughing like mad. Kishore was getting restless with her laugh. He was about to leave the table to hide. Suddenly, Ramaa stopped laughing. She held his hand and she said: “I love you too, Kishore”. Kishore relaxed instantly and color returned to his face. She held his hand and pressed warmly.
The warmth of hand brought him back to present, Ramaa was standing next to him in a white dress with blue floral design. Her face was glowing with a beautiful smile. He welcomed her with a warm hug. He presented her a bouquet of white lily and took her in the cafe. Kishore had reserved their “Table for two”

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I am participating in A to Z challenge with Blogchatter and this is my take on day 20 challenge. “Table for two”. You can find my other posts from this challenge here.

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C has to be for Coffee

Love for Coffee

When your social media bio says “coffee, camera, ink-pen and me” you can’t write anything but coffee as your article about ‘C for….’ on day 3 of A to Z challenge. Hell yeah, I am caffeine addict without withdrawal syndromes 😉 😛 Once you wake up in the morning, it’s almost heaven when you smell the roasted beans you put in for a fresh brew. As soon as that aroma hits your nose, your brain feels happy. This is so powerful, it even keeps the deadly ‘Monday Blues’ at bay. For years this has been my morning freshness trick. But I recently came to know about the science behind it. Thanks to this same A to Z challenge. It introduced me to amazing blogger, YouTuber Karnika Kapoor and she talked about Coffee and Climate Change in one of her video.

Coffee has been a major part of my life just like books. And the combination of an interesting book and cup of coffee is ultimate hit. And if it’s raining, I just love to pour myself a cup of hot and strong coffee, pick an interesting book (mostly it’s one of the rereads), and sit by the window enjoying words with this heavenly drink. While browsing things about coffee, I came across one amazing painting of old Turkish coffee shop created by Chevalier Auguste de Henikstein made in 1826.  

Interieur dun cafe Turc by Chevalier Auguste de Henikestein

I think ever since the first coffee shop opened, it was the center for community gatherings or place where friends can meet and have lengthy discussions. The tagline of widespread Indian café chain, Café Coffee Day is really true and very cleverly thought. “A lot can happen over a coffee” You may propose your love, you might sign the important business deal, or you can sit and chat for hours with your buddies. Even if you are alone, cafe never fails you. Constant hustle bustle keeps you company. For me cafés are the places of discovery of characters in my stories, even many of my stories are spun around coffee and cafes.

Coffee bearer by John Frederick Lewis

Nowadays, I am craving to do buddy reading of some interesting book sitting on a window ledge while it’s raining out and mugs full of hot coffees are adding more sparkle to the reading session. Will this wish get fulfilled in this rainy season?

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I am participating in A to Z challenge with Blogchatter and this is my take on day 3 challenge. “C for Coffee”

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मेनका

प्रचंड उकाड्याची एक ढगाळ संध्याकाळ. उन्हाळ्यातलीच, पण मळभ दाटून आलाय. विनय एकटाच आपल्या खोलीत अंधारातच बसला होता. टेबलवर तासाभरापूर्वी वाफाळता असलेला चहाचा कप आता थंडपणे भरलेला. बाजूला अॅश ट्रेच्या खाचेत बऱ्याच वेळात त्याच्या ओठापर्यंत न पोचलेली सिगारेट जळत जळत फिल्टर पर्यंत पोहोचली होती. तंद्री लागल्यासारखा तो त्या धुराच्या उठणाऱ्या वलायांकडे पाहत होता. समोर टेबलावरच त्याचं रायटिंगपॅड पानं फडफडवत होतं. त्यावर लिहिलेल्या चार शब्दांपलीकडे त्याला काहीही सुचत नव्हतं म्हणा किंवा खूप काही मनात होतं पण ते विचार कागदावर येईपर्यंत मन त्यांचा हात पकडून कुठे तरी लांब पोहोचत होतं. आणि न प्यायलेल्या सिगारेटच्या धुरात विनय त्या विचारांच्या मागे कुठेसा हरवला होता.

अजून वेळ आहे म्हणता म्हणता लेखाची डेडलाईन परवावर येऊन ठेपली होती. गेले दोन वर्ष एका आघाडीच्या दैनिकासाठी तो दर आठवड्याला एक सदर लिहितोय.

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त्या वळणावर

त्या संध्याकाळी रोजच्यासारखाच मी रामण्णाच्या त्या खास कॅफे मध्ये बसलो होतो. माझ्या अत्यंत आवडत्या अशा कॉफीचा आस्वाद घेत. तशा महत्वाच्या पण फारशी वर्दळ नसलेल्या एका रस्त्याच्या कोपऱ्यावर रामण्णानी त्याचे ‘मद्रास कॅफे’ चालू केले होते. ऑफिस संपल की रामण्णाच्या ‘मद्रास’मध्ये यायचं, रोजचीच ती खिडकीतली जागा पकडायची, आणि बॅगतून पुस्तक काढून वाचत बसायचं. तितक्यात रामण्णा कॉफी घेऊन यायचा. त्या गरम वाफाळत्या कॉफीच्या वासानी दिवसभराचा थकवा कुठल्या कुठे पळून जायचा. मगमधल्या कॉफीने तळ गाठेपर्यंत चांगला अर्धा पाउण तास सहज जायचा. कॉफी संपली की पुस्तक बंद आणि रामण्णाला धन्यवाद आणि पैसे देऊन मी घरच्या वाटेला लागायचो.

इथे नोकरीला आल्या दिवसापासून असलेले गेल्या चार वर्षांचं हे रोजचं वेळापत्रक त्या मंगळवारनंतर कोलमडणार आहे याची मला किंचितही

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आहिस्ता आहिस्ता…

वास्तविक ठरलेली वेळ साडे-सहाचीच, पण नेमकं आज ऑफिसमधलं काम लवकर आटोपलं आणि विराज कॅफेमध्ये चांगला पाउण तास अगोदर पोचला. रीना वेळेआधी पोचण्याचा काही स्कोपच नव्हतं. झालाच तर उशीरच होईल. तसं पाहिलं तर दोनच दिवस आधी त्यांची भेट झाली होती. पण अगदीच थोडा वेळ. आणि कित्येक महिन्यांनी भेटणाऱ्या दोन खास मित्र-मैत्रिणीला तो कसा काय पुरेसा वाटेल. त्यामुळे खूप काही बोलायचं राहून गेलं होतं. शेवटी आज पुन्हा भेटू असं ठरलं, आणि सुदैवानी दोघांनाही ऑफिसला विशेष काम नव्हतं.

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