HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Romance of the roadside kiosk

Vaibhav Sharma   May 14, 2014
First Published: 13:06 IST(14/5/2014) | Last Updated: 13:10 IST(14/5/2014)

First of all, no offence meant to any specific coffee chain or restaurant, because it’s all about those days when there were no established coffee chains, cafes or restaurants.


Recently, while meeting my old college pal at Barista what I figured out was that it was more of a flashy place than a truly social one to hang out with friends. Looking at the faces of the youth, what we found was that there was no true recreation or excitement in their chitchat. Maybe they were just lured by its modern architecture and enticing ambience. They were trying their best to communicate in English. Some were busy with their laptops while others had their eyes and ears on the fancy mobile phones, ignoring the presence of those sitting next to them.

We were looking for anyone having real enjoyment and being oblivious to the surroundings. But alas, we did not find anyone. And the irony was that after such a lacklustre meet, they had to pay hefty sums of money. What is the use of spending so much when you can’t get real enjoyment? But then the youth is crazy and it is an age when you indulge in all kinds of foolish activity.

Comparing it with our times, during the late 80s when we used to go to college, we had not heard of these expensive restaurants or cafes, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun. We had a fair share of that. I still remember those days when after a tedious lecture of mathematics one of our friends would invite us for hot samosas at Shekhar’s corner.

As the name signifies, it was a kiosk at the corner of the road. All our friends used to gather there and then would begin the endless banter. There were no formal sittings, expensive fur niture or gadgets, but we used to have immense delight and excitement. There was no conversation without patting each other with joy and laughter. We would rely heavily on humour and bullying. Sometimes our lecturers and professors would also join us in gossiping and there used to be limitless fun and frolic.

I don’t know if we can compare the taste and hygiene of those samosas with today’s healthy foods, but the contentment we used to get in that two-rupee samosa was unmatchable.

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