Sunday, January 03, 2010

Barista, Rajpur Road, Dehradun

I visited this coffee shop quite a bit, mostly because it had a bookshop attached. Also, since I was surrounded by chai, I was automatically craving coffee, in spite of the fact that I'd long stopped drinking either.

Most of my fellow patrons seemed to be yuppie couples visiting from the capital or well-heeled parents of boarding-school-going children with said sufferers in tow. Now and then, there were people more difficult to place and some who were technically foreigners, but, I realized sadly, less foreign to me than the Indian peers around me there. There was a group of young men in the corner one day who had that certain something about them that said "motorcycle expedition". It was nearly an hour before I registered that the certain something was a pile of helmets. A lone cyclist consulted a map over a cappuccino. A few extremely well-dressed women settled their embroidered shawls delicately at a table near me – this must have been the 'Dun elite out for coffee; no tourist is ever that elegant. By about four in the evening the teenagers would arrive with their soothing, non-life-threatening problems. At least, it seemed like four. People kept looking at my new phone, so I stopped taking it out and therefore hardly ever knew the time. I woke when the sun rose, lunched when it was high in the sky and, if out, started for home when the shadows started to lengthen. It was very restful.

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