6 days ago
Hazelnut Latté is Morning Prayer. It is where you fold your hands and pray that the person behind the counter sprinkles an extra dollop of Hazelnut on your coffee. In such a quest, I end up in coffee shops of all shapes and sizes, regardless of the hour. On one of these quests, I ended up at a local coffee connoisseur in Udaipur. This place has repeating customers and sits promptly by the lake. Now imagine my surprise when I land up there and see that the place has been shifted 4 floors up, without an elevator. I say thanks that I decided to wear my trainers as it is usually 4-inch-long stilettos that adorn my stubby feet, especially on a visit to the coffee shop, to try, well, new things. On this particular day, Udaipur had seen a storm and the streets bore reminisces of it like crunchy thyme on a plate of Pasta. I climb two storeys up and wonder where the coffee shop is. After 4 flights of stairs, I smell withdrawn cups of coffee and Iced Tea. I plop myself at the only ‘Table for Two’ and ask them for a Hazelnut Latté. In my order, I forget to add ‘iced’. Imagine my horror when it arrives in a cup and I see steam, oh dear god. I pick up a sachet of demerara sugar and take my first sip. It looks creamy but tastes runny, like some extra water has been added to chase whatever caffeine was in the coffee. I sit fuzzed and hear footsteps. A girl in a tank top and skinny jeans arrives panting and takes the table in front of me. Meanwhile, I gawk at the sky and already have six used tissues sitting. She asks me ‘Are you okay’
I nod and say yes.
She goes ‘Sure?’ I say, Yes (again) ‘Pucca?’ the girl is clearly a reporter in the making
I nod this time and look away. By this time, I wanted to set up camp under the table or hide behind the curtain to avoid her gaze.
I spend the rest of my coffee-sipping time looking at the lake that has seen better days. I fumble into my tote, pull out another tissue and blow my nose again.
A common cold happened.
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