I am on my way to Cafe Coffee Day. On a Sunday evening, reading a book and sipping a cup or two of Darjeeling Tea- well, i call it a perfect life. Staying in the capital of India- New Delhi is a delight in itself. As expected, it’s almost full house and it took me few seconds to find a place. I grabbed a corner table which was a fairly nice option, considering the fact that i had to focus more on 50 shades of grey and not on the gossips at the adjacent tables. I do want to make a confession here that i eavesdrop little more than – just sometimes. It’s a natural human tendency to sneak peek and being a normal person (at least i think so) and having reasonable curiosity about the society, i have no regrets in doing that.
I ordered a Darjeeling Tea, before the waiter even bothered to ask for anything.
“Sorry Sir, we do not have tea today.” the waiter replied with an innocent face as if it was his mistake that they were out of stock. I envy all the waiters in this world, for a simple reason i find the job too fascinating. If someone wants to learn people skills and how to interact with customers, i find no better job than this. And the way most waiters carry a pleasant smile all the times, it amuses me to a great deal. I miss the time when i wore the same waiters’ dress in the summer of 2009 – CCD Sector 35, Chandigarh.
“Sir, Would you like to have a Coffee?” his soft voice interrupted my thoughts.
I stared at the Menu for a while and decided to order a cup of Irish Coffee. He noted it down and said in a polite manner- “May be you should try coffee more often. After all, a lot can happen over it.” and left.
“Every one these days tries to be a smart ass, the world is definitely smarter than before”- i thought to myself.
I started reading the book, flipped through first two pages and instantly liked it. In the mean time, the coffee had also arrived at my table. I added a packet of sugar and had a sip of it. Nice! Although i miss the tantalizing aroma of Darjeeling Tea but i guess it’s a good alternative. More than taste, i enjoy the aroma of any hot beverage. I looked across the table and saw a girl entering the cafe. As the chubby girl caught all my attention, for the first time in my life i experienced the term deja vu.
I tried to remember where i had seen that girl, but i could not. But I had definitely seen her somewhere. She sat on the other side of the cafe; she was alone – a sign. Which reminded me about what the waiter had said earlier – a lot can happen over coffee.
I had another sip of coffee and read few more lines before i glanced at her. Even from a distance of around 15 feet, i could see her eye make up, which was so appropriately done. She was sweet, and if there was a possible way to compare the sweetness- i would rate her above coffee. Oh! she caught me staring at her, and i froze.
It took few moments before i started to pretend looking at the TV behind her but i suppose it was too late. I noticed though that she chuckled while looking down. Somehow i felt being stupid, but in a good way. Impatience had been one of my greatest virtues. And i was not ready to wait for long. I performed a small but slightly daring activity which i had learnt long back from Hindi movies.
The waiter initially refused but couldn’t refuse a 100 bucks bribe, offered secretly. The next minute… he was at her table.
As he handed over the napkin to that girl, i closed my eyes. I wanted to see her reaction but i was scared to death. The lines which i had written few minutes back, she was going to read them.
Oh yes, i have seen you or probably i have not.
Those angelic eyes are familiar, just a thought…
Wanted to ask, but i am afraid to…
Here’s a simple Hello from me to you.
I could not look up until i realized that someone had joined me. Yes, she was sitting right next to me and i was wondering where the hell i have gotten myself in to. I looked at her in despair, unsure about what to say. But she started the conversation.
“I admire your courage and the way you come up with it, but your purpose is pointless and waste.” she said with such a sweet voice that i focused more on her voice, not so on her words. She looked even better at such a short distance. I could easily give her 8 out of 10 in looks, ignoring extra fats under her shiny skin.
“Why?” i asked.
“Because i am in a relationship. I guess that’s enough; Otherwise i have to tell you that you are stupid.” the way she said this, i found her intellectually smart- beauty with brains. Something which is not easily attainable in a city like Delhi.
“I am not stupid. If i were, it hadn’t be you in that case. And with all due respect to your relationship, a friend of mine says- a good striker scores a goal in the presence of a goalkeeper. In his absence, anyone can score.” Ah! why would i say something like that. I cursed myself for being such a jerk, and my friend who had given me this “mantra”, the night before.
There was a silence for the next one minute or so. The background conversations were sort of blessings for me. The waiter was curiously looking at our table. The felicity on his face gave an instant relief to me.
“You are crazy. Aren’t you? Why did you feel the urge to do all that, when you don’t even know me?” she said. She was interested in carrying the conversation, it seemed or probably my optimism.
“Err, You tell me if i had not done that, you wouldn’t have walked up to my table. I guess i have made fair progress in such a short time.” I was much more confident this time, not sure how long i would be able to carry this confidence. I continued, “You didn’t have to use being in a relationship excuse. It’s a perpetual fish story girls often use.”
She gave an alluring smile and i had to do that too, just to ensure my gentlemanship.
“Would you like to have a coffee or something?” now i started the engine of chit chat.
“Yes, sure. Thanks for asking.” she then looked behind and waved at the waiter who was more interested in our table. She ordered a cappuccino while the waiter kept giving me you lucky bastard look; I shrugged.
“What a strange thing” she said, “We are having a coffee together and we don’t know each others’ names.”
“I am sorry.” i replied, “I should have introduced myself earlier. My name is Vishal and it was a pleasure to meet you… Varsha.”
She gave a suspicious look and asked, “How do you know my name?”
I gave an extended smile, enjoying the hurried expressions on her face. In the mean time, her coffee had also arrived on the table.
“Tell me. How do you know my name?” there was an anxiety on her face. I enjoyed acting mysterious for another couple of minutes.
“Well…” i said in a serious tone, “I have been stalking you for a while now. I saw you few weeks back and since then i have followed you more than often.” She didn’t look very comfortable now. Her face and specially the eyes expressed- qualm, but she still looked cute.
I made a lunatic gesture and said, “All i want is – your body. I don’t believe in mushy gushy things like heart and true love. And all the thirst that i have, i have for the redolent of your wheeze.” She was breathing fast. Her heart rate had gone up in distress.
She was about to get up and leave, when i said – “If your key chain did not have your name on it, i would not have come up with such an inane story.” I was bursting out laughing as i saw her slowly coming out of the trauma. She laughed too, and said- “I hate you.” Her eyes still expressed consternation. And i really liked her for that. Her eyes were doing more talk than her voice. I had never seen such expressive eyes.
The chit chat continued for a while and soon the waiter brought the bill. Which i didn’t understand why. I had not asked for it yet. I paid the bill even though she kept insisting to pay herself. We came out of the cafe and bade good bye to each other. Later i realized i should have asked her number, or at least her full name so that i could find her on facebook. But i always make such mistakes and i don’t regret them much. I am getting used to them.
It’s Monday evening and i am following my usual Time Table- going to CCD. But the cafe is almost empty today – except Varsha is sitting on the same table, probably waiting for me. Yes they are right – A lot can happen over a cup of Coffee. And yes, this time i am going to tell her my real name.