Starbucks opened up in Bangalore more two years back. Everyone and anyone seemed to rave about it back then. Not us. We avoided it like anything. For us to transition from homemade coffee to coffee shop took more than three years. Yes, we are those people who carried their coffee in a flask even on the highway. And then, for reasons unavoidable *like having to pee in reasonably clean restrooms* we began stopping at Coffee Day while on long drives. Again, we are those people who would order their 49 or 59 rupee combo that comes with a defrosted samosa and decent cup of coffee. And trust me, it took us quite a few trips to get over the guilt of spending so much on coffee, including taxes and all.
Having patronized Coffee Day, S thought we should try Starbucks too. This was early last year. We were in the mall any way, tired of walking and shopping stuff that we really didn’t need. So ventured in. The place looked cool and was lightly packed. We went all the way upto the counter to check out their coffees with three pairs of eyes aka the billing people staring at us. The cheapest was priced 180 rupees and that was excluding taxes. Both S and I looked at each other, talking through our eyes for the first time ever, and both walked out in sync 😀 We didn’t mind what those people thought of us, we didn’t pretend not to like the choices or anything, we just walked out. Not because we didn’t have the money but because spending that much on a coffee would be insane.
Fast forward to Dec 25, 2016. I had come back from Chennai just before the midnight on 24th Dec. S, in all his enthu-ness to welcome me home had booked movie tickets for the next day. The movie *more on that in another post* got over at ~2.30Pm and then began our saga of finding something to eat. I swear entire Bangalore was in the mall on that dreaded day. Every table at the food court had at least three angry families falling over, snatching the chairs lest someone makes a move. We should have turned back to go home immediately, but no. We kept running from one place to another with the scenes getting intense as the time went on. S had the toughest job – that is to handle a madly-in-anger-and-hunger-woman that is me and the mobbing crowd. Finally, we got a terrible looking burger and sat in the hot sun to have it in one go which only aggravated the madness of both anger and hunger in me.
We were also stuck with a coupon that we had to use by that day and that means, we had to be at the mall some more. Now that coupon came with a list of terms and conditions just to ensure we wouldn’t be able to buy anything *more on that for some other day* The coupon came from my dad which means we have to show him proof that we had used it *usefully* With loads of people all around, I was this close to faint. With my eyes closed, I chose a top and S rushed to the billing counter. Guess what, the coupon doesn’t work on that item. At this stage, I was ready to jump on the counter if not for S’s efficient handling. He knew what I needed.. my cup of coffee. We went over to not one or two but three coffee shops at three different stories, the queue was mile long with no place to sit. I could sense droplets of tears in the making at the back of my eyes *don’t ask me how, I just knew ok* And then S did the unthinkable.
He pulled me across to Starbucks. While I was gasping for breath taking in the jam packed crowd, S ordered the coffees. !!!!.. Tear droplets were working overtime by now, while the mind lost sense to everything else. S would neither show me the receipt nor tell me what he ordered but in front of me was one BIG whopping cup of coffee. I can swear my entire face could fit in that cup, if I tried. Wiping away my tears, I jumped head first into the coffee and everything was right in my world again. I looked up at S with renewed love and he looked down at me with a relief. For the second time in our lives, our eyes spoke with each other.
For those of you wondering how is it justified, it is not. S’s life was in danger as I was shooting him daggers and he had to take that extreme step 😀 Will we do it again, surely not!