If we were having coffee together


If we were having coffee…I would tell you about my new found fascination for leaves. I would tell you how I find the rain drop dripping leaves beautiful. I look at their perfect blades and their rounded curves whenever I step out and try to take lovely photographs. They might have come out as the second best choice when I could not find any flowers to click in this new place, but now they are an obsession.

If we were having coffee…you are bound to ask me how I am managing in a new city. And then I would pass you the biscuits that I made from scratch while trying out my new oven and tell you how I am loving every moment of being in a new place and soaking in all the newness.

You would comment on the chilli flakes in the biscuits and might even say that you like your biscuits sweet. I would then have to convince you that this was the only and the easiest recipe that I could try out.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you how I am fascinated by a new language. I would put on a fake accent and punctuate my conversation with the words I have learnt. You might point out that I need to know complete sentences and not just throw about random words. This would make me laugh and I would shrug nonchalantly. We would then talk about how we are attracted to foreign languages.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you all about the little lake that I am fortunate enough to live near. I would tell you how it is nearly the first thing I look at when I am up in the morning. I would talk of its varying colours that reflect the sky’s myriad moods. I would talk of the flickering evening light and how it seems to skim on the water surface. I would tell you how the water is framed by palm fronds that sway with the breeze.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you of the new perspectives that are shaping my thinking. I would tell you how exciting it is to meet new people who challenge my views of the way things should be. I would tell you that I am grateful to see another viewpoint and a glimpse of other inner worlds.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you how I feel dizzy at the endless possibilities and opportunities that I seem to find everywhere. I would tell you that it is as if the rain has washed away all the dust of uncertainty and everything is fresh. I would then hold forth about the thundering rain and the howling wind and the slants of water hitting the earth every day.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you of the different coffee brews that I am sampling these days. I would tell you of the wonderous brew that the beverage chef of the hotel would prepare, smiling his pleasure at my appreciation. I would tell you of the different brands that I encounter in the supermarket. I would tell you of the coffee I had in the train and the coffee I had at the roadside vendor. 

If we were having coffee…I would tell you how sharing coffee or a meal makes me want to talk more. I would tell you that I am transported to coffee shops where I have shared so many talks with friends and strangers. I feel so much at ease that I want to expound on my philosophy of life. Your horrified look would stop me from the expostulation, of course.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you of how I am spinning yarns and weaving tales in my mind. The stories threaten to spill out. I would tell you how different characters seem to come up to me at every place. I would tell you how I feel like stopping people on their way and asking them about their thoughts on life and their daily routine.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you how much I love our talks together.

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If we were having coffee… I would exclaim at your changed appearance. I would notice that now you wear your hair longer and your dresses shorter. Your pudgy hands would be clammy still and you would rock back and forth in your chair in intense concentration, losing yourself in the conversation we should have had so many times in these years but somehow never got around to having. 

I would smile secretly at your tinkling laughter, reminding me of the little temple bells that ring every evening all over ‘your’ town. It is a town that you refused to acknowledge, drowning in the imagined shame of being a small town girl. Yet it has been something that defined you even in your refusal and casting away of your essential identity. 

If we were having coffee… I would listen to your stories in your low throaty voice that I have always adored. I would not want to interrupt you while filling your coffee cup unobstrusively, taking care of the milk and the sugar. I would know exactly how you like your coffee for we have shared a cup many times before. 

I would remind you of the cold mornings when we huddled together, bleary eyed over our lukewarm coffee, trying to clear our minds and gear up for the recommended reading for the week. 

You would wonder however how my coffee was now much stronger than I used to like . 

If we were having coffee… You would tell me all about your family. You would tell me of the holi celebrations back at your brother’s place where you go wild playing with colour. You would tell me of your midnight snacks of bread and crunchy bhujia as you watched mindless tv. 

I would remind you of the impromptu parties we would have back when we were living in that ship shaped building, our rooms separated by a narrow corridor that was the scene of so many whispered conversations. 

If we were having coffee… I would tell you how little I have been shopping for myself these days. You would not be very surprised for I have always struggled with it. You would remind me of the all black outfit that I bought for the party. We would talk of the time we went traipising though the narrow by lanes of the old city to the impossibly compact clothed shop, hunting for something that was eye catching. You would laugh at the way I was always wearing black and ask me why I had started leaning towards pastels in my wardrobe. 

If we were having coffee… I would ask you hesitantly if you wanted something to eat. I would listen to you carefully just to gauge if it were the right time to unburden myself. 

I would apologize to you for not replying to your letter to me that you had sent right after I moved away. I would tell you of the blue inland letter envelope that I still had tucked in the pages of my book. I would tell you that I do not read that book now, do not flip through its pages incessantly and absentmindedly. I do not turn to it for comfort. Yet, I would tell you that the book is part of the memory of a great phase of my life. 

I would tell you, in little words and through contrite pauses, of the anger I had held onto for so long. I would hint at the perceived wrongs and my furious response . I would tell you that how I had never intended to reply to the letter. I would also tell you that with time our perceptions change and some introspection is all that is needed to bring purity back to our hearts. 

You would wonder at how long I had held on to the hurt. You would then hold my hand and murmur that it does not matter really, in the long run. 

If we were having coffee… You would smile kindly at me and take out the brightly coloured hand made paper folder from your bag and hand it to me. I would gf out my hand happily for this would match the papier mache boxes you had bought for me many years ago. 

You would be delighted when I tell you that they have graced my cabinet for all these years reminding me of her and the future that was yet to be. 

If we were having coffee… We would promise to meet up once in a while for coffee, a lot more frequently. 

If we were having Coffee…

If we were having coffee right now… I would be drooling over your baby. Not literally, of course, because he is the one going through the spitting up milk and the drooling routine. We would keep a stack of bibs right on our table where our coffee would be sitting, taking care not to knock off our cups in our haste to wipe his mouth every time he does that.

I would be looking at all the pictures you took of his with various family members trying to decide who he looks like . We would talk of the wonder of a perfectly formed being and how he has changed your world.

If we were having coffee right now… we would talk of the excitement of our list swap, not so long ago. You would tell me of that lazy Sunday you got my message about the things we have always wanted to do. You would tell me how you snapped out of your reverie to start tapping away crazily on your phone to tell me all those. I would tell you how good it felt to be knowing that part of you.

I would tell you how I arrived at my list, and how surprised I had been when I wrote with abandon. There were things I thought I had let go of, years ago. There had been dreams I thought I had outgrown, but I wrote them down still. A few things startled me for I did not even know I had harboured a desire to do them. And then you would ask me wonderingly,  what was the thing really stopping me from doing it all.

If we were having coffee right now… I would ask you to share your poetry that you have written in the past few days. I would tell you that I have been missing those impromptu poetic conversations and the way you sneakily quote from the masters and enjoy my discomfiture when you tell me that you did not write, what I have been praising so earnestly.

If we were having coffee right now…I would twirl my fingers around the coffee cup handle, run them around the rim and struggle to express my thanks to you for holding my hand through the difficult days I had. I would tell you that you are very intuitive when it comes to people you care for and the ripples that are created by our thoughts, no matter where they start, affect us all.

If we were having coffee right now… we would eagerly talk of our travel plans. You would pull out your notepad and read out the places you want both of us to visit together. We would talk of the experiences we are going to have, disregarding the logistics and our inability to even step out of our homes at times.

If we were having coffee right now… I would tell you that these coffee dates are my way of making up for lost time. I would brush aside your wondering about why we did not meet years before and how it is that a twist of fate brought us together in the most unlikeliest of ways. I would remind you of the time we met first and your grudge that we could not even sit together and talk. I would tell you that now that we are closer, we can be with each other more and talk more.