Dear (Ex) Roomie

Dear (Ex) Roomie,

While I’ve had many roommates over the years, you were the last one I shared an apartment with. It was an odd turn of events that I spoke to a common friend about wanting to shift to a different part of the city because I didn’t want to live alone, when we didn’t even know that we existed. Two meetings later, we had moved in together because we were looking for a new place. What followed was years of companionship and endless talks.

In spite of our initial observations of each other, it wasn’t difficult to start talking. Once we got on talking, one topic would lead to another and we would end up forgetting what we had started off in the first place. While it is rare to have this with someone, it is rarer to have it on for the amount of time we did. And I can say this from my experience of having gone through roommates. Compound to this the fact of our wide difference of beliefs and you have got some interesting conversations.

Of course I put up a lot with you because you routinely got me chocolates, the cookies from Karachi Bakery, jawbreakers and those big lollipops with swirls in them. I also like to think that you put with me because you were basking in the awesomeness that is me. There might be a difference of opinion on your part about that, but then that is ok. You must be confused by all the awesomeness that I speak of 😛

I fondly remember the nights we spent at Barista. Sometimes they would have loads of conversations while we sat on the ledge outside with our backs to the glass, and the other times we would spend time inside with hot chocolate by your side, and latte by mine; reading our own books instead.

It’s of course ironical that we don’t share apartments now is the opposite of the reasons that I moved in, that I want to live alone now. When under the same roof, we would always run into each other even with different work timings. Now that it doesn’t happen, we will catch up with dinner sometime this week then.

 

Written for the 30 days 30 letters prompt: A letter to someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to

 

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Barista, the place I belong to

Everyone has a place that is special for them. A place which they are not just fond of, but a place that makes them feel comfortable, a place where they get a feeling of belonging. The Barista Lavazza café in Baroda happens to be mine.

Baroda is not where I came to know of Barista, our connection is much older than that. More than 10 years ago when I used to haunt the Crosswords book store at Mithakali in Ahmedabad, I would spend time in the adjoining café with the book I would have had bought. That café happened to be Barista. It was a ritual for me to read my pre-ordered Harry Potter on the day of release in Barista. When having bought anything other than Harry Potter, I would spend less time in there, but a visit was always on the cards.

Then something horrible happened. Barista shut down, and was replaced by some other chain of coffee shops. It was decent, but didn’t have the same feeling as Barista. Years later, when I had to meet a friend in Baroda, she asked me to come to Barista. I was overjoyed to learn that Barista had opened sop again. Lavazza had taken over, and opened up at new places. They were smart in the fact that they didn’t change what was already bringing back the old loyal customers, and yet had something for new lovers. My love was back.

After renting out a different place with new roommates in the same area, I could easily spend more time at Barista. It was natural for one of us to be tired from work, and ask the other to join him for coffee at Barista. Barista still serves some of the best coffee that I have had. Their hot chocolate is to die for. Let me walk you through the place with pictures.

Welcome to Barista

BaristaoutsideThis is one of the few places that I know where people love sitting outside as much as they love the insides. There is no special sitting arrangement outside, just two ledges on either sides of the door where you have glass panes. There is enough space to sit on it.

Baristaoutsit

There have been many nights when roommate and I have spent sitting there just chatting away into the last hour of the night forgetting what happened at work, or sometimes just reading in silence.

baristagroupspot

When we went in as a group, this was our spot. One could keep track of the score if there was a cricket match going on. We could all have our drinks and snacks placed in front us, on the centre table.

baristamochaWhen it came to hot drinks, I prefer their Cafe Mocha. It is such a wonderful blend of chocolate and coffee. The cookies help as well 😀

baristabrrista
At times when I felt like reading alone, I would order a Brrista for myself. It is their version of a cold frappe which has icecream blended with coffee. The only sad thing about this is that I end up finishing it quickly in three sips, and am left wondering where it all went.

baristaart2 baristaartThey have such lovely wall art decor. The first one has “AT ANY TIME OF DAY A CUP OF COFFEE DELIGHTS, REVIVES AND STIMULATES THE SENSES.” on it.

BaristacoverThis is another lovely piece they have, that takes up almost half of the wall. I love how they have not drawn the features and expressions of the people in it, and have left it to the viewer’s imagination.

BaristaMyspotThis is my spot when I go there by myself. If someone is already occupying it, you may find me sulking about it. The moment they leave, I get up and move to it before anyone else does.

baristapanaroma

This a panaroma shot from the spot. I can cover the entire place from it, corner to corner. I can see the wash room and wait at my seat instead of having to wait at the door for the person to come out. The barista can signal for me when my order is done. I can look at the outsides through the door and glass panes, and keep an eye out for a friend who may have made plans with me. It also has a charging point right behind the chair, and I can keep my laptop plugged in. I remember sitting hours over there playing games on my laptop.

baristacupOne day I received a call from the Barista office regarding a feedback form I had filled up. They had called to confirm my address, and they sent in this lovely mug as a gift along with a letter.

baristaletterThe letter reads as :

Hi Hrishikesh,

Thank you for writing in!

We appreciate feedback like yours that inspires us to move in a positive direction.

I am enclosing a small souvenir with this package.

Please keep writing for customers like you are the ones we work for. 🙂

 

Barista Team.

BARISTA FOR ALL.

 

They’re the best!

 

 Written for day 2 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge 2014.