Finding Coffee

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.


Read more by Rashmi B. Nayar

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Picture Credit : Rashmi B Nayar

34 thoughts on “Finding Coffee”

  1. So when r we having a cup together… Long long time… Loved every word of it n so true… The times we live in…

    1. Thank you Mona <3 I was remembering our catch up last year just before covid hit...that was such a fun lunch...it'll happen again...just a matter of time...lots of love

    1. You know I make great Dalgona coffee (a.k.a. good ol’ beaten coffee), I just leave the easy stuff to you all :)) But thank you for your incisive inputs Shagun…it always helps <3

  2. From one coffee lover to another – I absolutely loved the article. I did not realise that this aspect is common to all army coffee lovers !!! Save finding the best for the last !! To many more coffee, conversations and articles 😊

    1. Thanks a ton Amol 🙂 I can totally vouch for the filter coffee you brew! And cheers to the anticipation of savouring the best for the last 🙂

  3. I can seriously say..this story of finding coffee was much needed. I love the way you describe the emotions.
    Saving the best for the last, so relatable.
    I loved it Rashmi <3

    1. Thank you from one coffee lover to another <3 Us army brats totally know the feeling of saving the best for the last ...thank you Ritzy 🙂

    1. Love this Himani…thank you <3 And actually, could've titled this 'Finding happiness and/in coffee' 🙂

  4. Loved it… your narration is so beautifully lucid and captivating.. keep it coming!! And yes do keep smelling not only the roses but also the coffee

    1. Thanks a ton Bela <3 I remember the umpteen cups over the years that we've had conversations over...and waiting for more :))

  5. Haha.. such a great read…and since having witnessed both the charm of ur new tricity home and the ambience of the place mentioned in your walks, what remains to explore is this coffe shop find of yours…!!! ☺
    So, Coffee Cheers to the write-up (especially the closing lines).!! ☕☕

    1. Haha…thank you Neha and I look forward to doing this together the next time you are here…so come by soon <3

  6. I look forward to write ups by you just like I used to look forward to Garfield in Sunday newspapers for many years. Makes my day. Coffee is not the only thing that can, you know.

    1. Loved every single word of it. I can actually relate to your love for coffee… Looking forward to read more write-ups by you..

      1. Thank you so much Nikhat <3 Will never forget the Coffee with me session that you conducted so beautifully in Nagar. Thank you for reading my work...lots of love

    2. Love love love the compliment Abhi <3 This is going to get me going on the days I hit the writer's block, and there have been too many of them of late! Thank you so much for reading my pieces...hugs

  7. A lovely comforting piece. It is easy to see only negatives when change descends, but some are blessed with vision to constantly discern the good things in life. And coffee is definitely a good thing.

    1. Thank you so much Maureen for the beautiful feedback. Love what you said about the ability to discern the good in life no what is going on all around. Thanks for that again.

    1. Thank you my fellow rider and cappuccino lover…so miss our coffee pit stops!! Have you ride together soon…hugs

  8. Great read and glad you found the loved taste in Cafe Lykke…Good coffee for coffee lovers is the icing on the cake

    1. Thank you so much Malathi. Still remember the great filter coffee at your place in Nagar. Have to do a repeat soonest…hugs

  9. Nice going through your article. My boys always squabble with me when I tell them the greatest coffee is in your own kitchen!!!! And they are like “no way”. Reading your article has made me change my thinking.
    Going out for a cuppa helps one unwind.
    Loved reading it.

    1. Thank you for the huge compliment Aunty Lorraine <3 No better place than the hills for finding coffee...will wait to hear about your fav spot <3

  10. Meandering through the gamut of emotions was like a breath of fresh ( coffee) air , to say the least, Rashmi !
    The beginning transported me back instantly to the ‘Radiant Reader’ days, to the hilarious ‘Uncle Podger Hangs a Picture’ by Jerome K. Jerome! Ha ! I could actually visualize the beautiful NAYAR home taking shape.Now who had the mantle of Uncle Podger, leaves one guessing !!
    And well, Pluto, the naughty four- legged furry boy making you walk into his ‘webby’ parlour with naughtiness writ large in his laughing , saucer brown eyes and you gingerly following him, for once, unsure.!
    Amidst all this, the undeniable magical coffee whiff wafting through….strong and intoxicating .
    Ah yes! Sure loved the ‘measure of happiness’ khoob jamega rang jab mil baithenge teen yaar, aap mein aur coffee !
    Café LYKKE here we break in!!
    Loved also the way ,with a little nudge here and a little jolt there, memories were kindled of bygone days….
    What an effortless ,charming write-up and read.Loved it, Rashmi….

    1. Love love love your writing Mrs Sachar <3 Please please write for candc magazine...I need to meet you so I can convince you 🙂 Waiting to catch up with you over coffee soonest...hugs

    1. Thanks a ton Bandna <3 Need to do coffee together soonest...waiting to see you at the exhibition....so excited 🙂

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