The morning began late. Couldn’t pull myself out of bed before 6am. Usually it’s a jumpstart around 5.30am (read somewhere about waking up at 5am to make it a huge success. Now I know I owe all failure to the half an hour and sometimes one hour gap). A quick freshening up followed by clearing the kitchen that showed up in tatters due to lack of cleaning the previous night and getting into the grind (making tiffin for my daughters and sometimes for the hubby) – wow I couldn’t feel more refreshed. As I flew my kisses to Shonu (my older one) and returned home to carry on with my mundane chores for the morning, I was greeted by the aroma of daalchini (cinamon). My favourite chai (tea) brewed by my coffee loving spouse was all set with bun maska (buttered bun). We settled down to a lovely conversation completely oblivious of the time (romance is so past life when you have two kids to look after). I rushed again to get my darling Monu (my younger one) ready for school. Everything was so boring again with her constant tears and bickering over missing me at school. Alas, I gave in and offered to tag along to drop her off, lest she threw up all breakfast.

The morning love in fresh monsoon air had already delayed us. Next, we were in luck at the freeway. The route that usually cost us 30 minutes door to door had a different tale to tell. Somebody up there wanted me to spend time with hubby. We were stuck in a jam for 80 mintutes flat. Monu cried and talked and I narrated 2 stories and there were complains and finally she was over and done with all emotional atyachaar (torture). With a smile going jaw to jaw, she asked with great expectation, “Are we going to reach after school gets over?” We laughed away and promised we would reach school in the next 10 minutes. We did. Dropped her off and she was a lot better, thanks to the delay.

Now hubby was hungry. I wasn’t. But the foodie in me hates to say no to food. So we made way to Café Mestezzo, our latest favourite (no they aren’t paying me to write this, grr). It happens to located exactly a minute away from school. As we entered, Shivam, the face of the café, welcomed us, “Welcome again Mam”. This was our third time to the café (we have ended up there after dropping Monu under the pretext of delays and conference calls, and I have loved the experience each time). Now, I need to tell you this. Shivam is this really pleasant guy who fills the air with his energy and warmth put together in greeting and welcoming you inside. To top it up, he speaks impeccable English. And if a guy possesses these two qualities, you can bet on it he can sell the world to you.

His smile is contagious and you could call him service personified. He remembers what you ordered the last time you walked in and makes you feel at ease, in an instant. We order, we eat and by now we are both off any stress of getting anywhere in life. We are in the moment and continue the romance that was lost behind the veil of duties this morning. Just as we are about to leave, there is this rising curiosity within that draws me back to the counter.

I strike up a conversation with Shivam. It turns out, my intuition was right. This boy with a twinkle in his eyes isn’t some counter staff after all. He has big dreams. A coffee connoisseur at heart, he has been into the art of mastering to brew ever since his childhood. Someday, he wants to have a three star café of his own. He already owns something at one of the malls around.

I wasn’t taken by surprise at all. I thought it was commendable to take the route he did to understand people and work towards his dream. Well, with that we started back in our directions. Hubby at work and me back home. All morning, I realized, the rush and tension wasn’t going to take me anywhere. But the moment I relaxed and enjoyed my present, my cuppa-o-coffee, I was happy.

I recollected a forward on whatsapp that spoke about enjoying life just like a sachet of tea or coffee, one at a time. How profound!! All the wealth in the world cannot guarantee that satisfaction that needs just one sachet. So why tag happiness to one big achievement or one great accomplishment only? Isn’t it these little moments that form the chain to the journey of life? I found my happiness in the traffic jam, at the café, meeting this new youth that forms the India of today…. I was open to experiencing. Are you?