Pandu bought us coffee or tea at our desk. You have to let him know your preference as soon as you got to work or your default choice would be delivered. It always came in a stainless steel dabara set. The bowl at the bottom and the inverted cut with the tea/coffee. This was how coffee was served in offices prior to multi-nationals coming into the country.This was how my dad enjoyed his tea at work and so did I. We waited for the coffee boy who would come everyday like clockwork at 11 in mid-morning and 3 in the afternoon. Tea time meant people could relax. We would spend ten minutes talking, joking before going back to work.
In the evenings I would walk to S's Wipro office on MG Road in Bangalore. While I waited in the lobby I would notice all the techies walking up and down the hallway with coffee mugs in their hands. Coffee mugs were a new concept. We either drank coffee in a dabara set or in cup and saucer. I would look at them in awe and wonder what the magic drink was, if it tasted better because it was in this humongous mug.
From Wipro S and I would either ride in his Kinetic Honda or walk to my brother B's office at Citi. Walk or ride depended on our energy levels and time we had at hand. The same scene would unfold there also, men and women with coffee mugs walking with busy stride up and down. This made my dabara set tea look very miniscule. I wanted to also do the same but never owned a mug or knew where to get one.
Fast forward twenty years...I now spend at least 3-4 times a day walking with coffee mug in hand. I own enough to fill up an entire cabinet. Whenever I visit India I find the dabara set and cup and saucer teas very less for me. I shamelessly ask for a second or sometimes a third round. I wish I could go back to being that innocent young lady who found awe in simple things. Who spent evening walking from one place to another nary a care. I would have easily raked up more than 10K steps in one day without having to plan an event to do so like I have to now. The young girl who ate two dinners every night because I could do so and not pile on pounds. I miss those days in my life, they are precious, they defined me, I am glad I got to live them!
A coffee mug in hand ART