When I was 21, and naive, and mostly broke, I was roaming in the community center in Saket , New Delhi. While my friends planned to watch a movie in the India’s first multiplex, I found myself acting smart by saying that I do not like copy cats, which multiplexes are. I sauntered off to Barista( Indian Version of Starbuck’s) to sit for hour and a half and wait for them to come back. Then, Barista under the leadership Ravi Deol would serve above average cup of joe and great sandwiches .
I wandered off to this quirky looking cafe outlet, which had a more quirkier name. Qwikys !! I decided to check it out. As I was enetering the cafe the barista smiled and welcomed . The decor was unusual as there was the bar island. The colours were brown and red, while yellow splashed here and there. It seemed very informal. Jazz was being belted out and it was not loud. Later I came to know that they had World Space Radio, which was a novelty then. The menu was somethng new to me as I had never announced panini pigghata and so much more. Everything seemed simple and unpretentious. There were two bean bags lying in one corner, while the other corner had those high chairs, which you get to perch up at the pubs.It all seemed so good.
I was a bit apprehensive in the beginning and broke. However the idiot in me made me act smart and I tried to show that I know about coffee. As per my idiotic act I orderered a shot, simply because it was the least costly item on the menu, which eventually changed to Doppio, as it sounded cool and earned me some more respect in the eyes of the barista. I waited for the order along with a panini . It arrived and the barista stayed their to befriend the first coffee connosieur. I took the first sip and the bitterness hit me with all my stupidity added to it. I smiled bravely and praised the shot . Barista went back happily and I sat there thinking about different ways to get rid of the Doppio.Gosh! I did make a fool of myself but , I liked the ambience so much and the music and the bean bags( I had never seen them before), and pretty much everything there. I was so happy inside, and even more so for not shelling out the moolah to watch some stupid movie.
With my academic under achievement as against the overtly obvious potential, I had found the place to go where I could be at ease with myself, drinking lattes , which came with latte art and in wonderfully colourful ceramics. I still cherish those moments. Slowly I started introducing my friends to the place, and it became the place where I could get the quick release from the mediocre life, and even more mediocre achievements( a silly presentation in a silly management college, again a copycat). Sandwiches were to die for.
I retracted into a shell for various reasons and would not step out of the home for the next few months. When I did come out, I went to Qwikys, and was crestfallen to see it closed. My last escape was gone. I tried to find the lingering soul there and I did bathe in the vibes left behind. However, I bid one last goodbye to the place, knowing that Saket will not be same again.
I wandered off to find myself and a new journey had begun. I tried my hands at various things to find the one thing for which I was made. I wrote GRE, studied scriptures, vegetated and meditated, but to no avail. Throughout I would get roasted coffee beans from Bangalore and grind them and drink the coffee through the drip coffee machine( Now I know that it is sacrilegious to use the coffee beans which has been roasted two weeks before, in fact a week is just fine, as the taste drops after the sixth day from roasting).
Zen Moment arrived. I could very clearly see that I have coffee as my constant companion, and I had only known more and more about it, and had never get tired about it. Therefore I decided that if it has to be anything then why not coffee. I realized the importance of a place which was Qwikys. It would be my homage to the great time I had spent at Qwikys , which showed me this trail. After that I had taught at Management Colleges and did projects for small businesses. I have also floated a small firm to offer the services involving the new media. But I have done all of it for the love of coffee, which happened nowhere else but at Qwikys.
Please accept my gratitude and honest appreciation.