Picking up from where left – A lone evening in a cafe

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I had been planning this for more than a month now, I knew it was such a small thing, but anything I do will anyway involve lot of planning, whether its worth or not is a different question.

Some months back I had discovered this cafe, which had live music and also a small collection of books, and immediately I fell in love with the place. I knew I wanted to go there, and spend some time. As usual lack of company had made we decide not to go there. But yesterday I was so bored that I decided to just go out there, though alone just to check the place out.

I am not new to enjoying the hangouts alone, In fact that was when I started to do what I want to do, rather than what people wanted me to. I had developed really good rapport with strangers and could walk into any conversation easily. I used to love that “me”. I was not, so comfortable doing it here in Bangalore,because of more or less fear of known.

I reached the cafe at around 7:30 PM, firstly I was disappointed as there was no live music yesterday, but there is something in the smell of the fresh ground coffee, which made me enter the cafe. I looked around I saw like 3 couples, 2 large groups of girls, they seemed to be in late teens or early 20′s. And were chatting at the top of their voices. I directly went into the book section. There was no one there, Kind of eased me into the cafe.

After buying couple of books and paying for it, I started thinking. Should I Stay here and have coffee when I read or just go home. I looked around once more there were hardly anyone who had come their alone. I felt a little odd. But decided that I will drink just one cup coffee and go home. So I ordered a latte and started to search for a place to sit.

One of the biggest problems in hangouts in Bangalore is lack of planning for singles, they do not have bar stools or even small corners where we can settle down. I cant blame them for not planning well for an offbeat customer like me who goes to their cafe once in like a year. I ended up temporarily sitting on a large sofa, that was the only empty seating place.

By this time I had become totally self conscious and started looking around, is someone looking at me chuckling slightly at being lost?, or is someone trying show me to their friends like the Dilbert looser comic strip,. I did see couple of raised eyebrows and couple of stares. By that time a coffee table became free. So I decided to sit there to avoid public attention.

I really don’t know what I was thinking when I shifted. Let me tell you a little more on this new table of mine. It was right in front of the entrance, i was facing it, to my right there was this huge group of girls shouting about how they need to be in touch after college. So there I was sitting, trying not to show them they might end up like me , after few years after college, and also not look like a fool to every couple/group that enters the cafe. Sometimes I thought the owner might ask me to go home, as people coming in seeing a lone guy might decide against entering :).

The latte came, and I took out my book. I had just bought that book, I just wanted to do something while drinking coffee and had planned to go back as soon as the coffee finished. I started to enjoy myself. I liked the book and the music playing in the stereo, even though I could here most of the conversation that surrounded me initially, later I could concentrate on my book.

I didn’t realize when the coffee got over. I was 50 pages into the book when I realized its almost 9, I had spent like an hour there just reading and drinking. I did look around in between whenever new people came in. But I was not getting embarrassed at all. I had hoped to meet some nice people there. Thought that didn’t work out, I really liked picking up my something which I had left on April 7th 2006. The last day I hung out alone in a bar.

So now that I am back on my own. I think I will start the prowl for better places.

P.S. Contrary to the popular belief that I went to meet “someone” there or hoping to meet
“someone”, I was just trying to do what I used to do before and was missing :).

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2 responses »

  1. Quite interesting. Good that you enjoyed it.

    I used to think going and eating alone was crazy till I started doing it. :) Necessity you see :) But I should say, I enjoy it a lot too. But unlike you, I do sit back and watch people (my fav passtime)

  2. I go into restaurants and coffee shops by myself all the time, and I prefer to do so. Otherwise, you are pinned down to someone else’s schedule or choice of topic and commentary on place, food, drinks, etc., and you can’t just get up and leave if you want to. You can never get to know your self and feel comfortable with your self if you don’t spend some time alone — other people are all too eager to foist their likes/dislikes and ideas on you, and you are left to sort it all out — a big waste of time. Reading, coffee, and good food are more enjoyable in a public place when you don’t have any social obligations to fulfill with any kind of companion.

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