So, I recently relocated/rehoused/rehomed to the Tri-city from the NCR. That basically means I packed-moved-unpacked-resettled in Panchkula (one of the Tri) from Noida (one of the NCR). This hectic amount of movement happened in the first month of the new year alongside the pandemic and the Farmers Protest, which meant that between my neighbourhood and the state borders, one or both were perpetually closed. With Murphy’s Law in full force, I have no idea how, but somehow, I moved.
In our new home, things started to slowly take shape as the curtains and pictures came up and the bookshelves and cupboards filled in. The rhythm of the place started to set in, with Pluto (my Beagle, not the satellite) finding innovative ways to do his jailbreaks in search of the many tantalising new smells. Thus, commenced the Pluto Walks, which introduced me to the sunrises over the hills amidst joyful bursts of the yellow trumpet flowers; Mojo and Coco’s woofs in chorus with the lady under the coral tree’s chants; and the matching steps of the three spirited seniors as a teenager on loops ran past.
The evenings remained work in progress, serving up the time honoured ‘what to eat’ as the most challenging question. From a healthy high of soups and salads to let’s-get-decadent with continental and Italian, we did comfort food with daal, dahi and sabji, to screw-it-all-let’s do Maggie and fries tonight! Quite clearly, post dusk the rhythm of the place eluded us, but the green tea helped keep things in balance with wine in equal measure. As did the fruits – sliced, peeled and cut in bowls or afloat in Sangria pitchers. Altogether, not too bad I thought, looking through my to-do list.
I saw that the topmost item #finding coffee, still unchecked after nearly a month of rehoming. While it might appear surprising for a coffee lover, the ritual of saving the best for last comes from being a military kid and spouse. Having to put in hundreds of hours into making all kinds of houses into cosy homes across geographical coordinates (18 homes at last count as a spouse alone), the one constant has been my ritual of waiting till the main chunk of settling in has been done, before going out finding coffee.
Finding a place that serves great coffee means so more than just that. It is the meeting point for heartfelt conversations, a place to observe the world through caffeinated eyes, or read a great book and escape from the goings-on of everyday life. It is how I make the town mine and how I get to know its people, from innocuous-looking kiosks that brew a mean cup of filter coffee to cappuccino’s wafting out of divine coffee shops.
With things mostly settled, and the beginning of my coffee cravings setting in, it was time to make the tri-city home and go finding coffee. So, I headed out onto the omnipresent Madhya Marg and its manicured roundabouts with the way too many traffic lights. That’s where I came across Cafe Lykke (pronounced Luu-kah), which means happiness in Danish. The name really resonated because that’s what coffee means to me – happiness in a cup. Sipping on their amazing Vietnamese Cold Brew, I sat there happily mulling over the existential question of what is the measure of happiness. The answer that came to me, in my caffeine induced haze, was really quite simple – Be present in the moment. Drink the coffee. Let the world wait. That’s it.
A great mantra, I thought, very lykke with my beginnings to finding coffee in my new home. As I drove back home, I knew that the challenge awaiting me was the other, and more immediate, question of ‘what to eat’. And that one would take a stiff shot of Irish coffee, or two, for the answer to come to me.
Picture Credit : Rashmi B Nayar