Sunday, 10 September 2017

A cup of coffee

She sat there in the coffee shop sipping her coffee. It was not the first time she sat there alone. She was 22, working, divorced and living with her doting parents. She was passionate about her career and was a role model for many. Her personal life was not that successful yet she always had a smile on her face. An amicable person for whomever she met.

Today was yet another day she wanted to have coffee and talk to someone but amongst the 2340 friends on Facebook and 367 WhatsApp contacts she could find none to go out with.

The past few weeks had lessened her sheen. She was frustrated with the mundane life. Office started getting boring and the manipulations which she used to take lightly were now making her lose sleep.

She was independent and well brought up and that is how she took a good look at the phonebook and sent a few WhatsApp messages to meet up but no one was free. She took it all in stride and decided to take herself out for coffee again.

She chose a new cafe this time, ordered her coffee, took a table in the corner and took a book from her bag. But she was in no mood to read either. She couldn't bring herself to even open the book. She sat there looking around; the place was bustling with people, mostly youngsters. One of her hobbies, to observe people and lose herself in them was also not giving her peace today.

There was a lot of noise, in the cafe, and, even more in her head. She was tired of fighting her battles, she was tired of controlling her tears from her parents, she was tired of keeping a happy face, and she was tired of staying bold and carefree. She couldn't take it anymore, it seemed nothing was working and nothing will ever work. She had given enough trouble to her parents and maybe ending her life would be an end to all the drama and questions, she thought.

The counter displayed her token number and as she was getting her coffee to her table she saw another girl enter the cafe, alone. She was dressed in blue jeans and a black cotton kurta, a bag in one hand and the phone in another, her hair tied in a tight bun, a blank face and eyes low, somehow she felt a connection with her.

She got to her table with her coffee but couldn't help watching the other girl constantly. She was a mirror image of her. She too ordered her coffee and took a seat but not in a corner, amongst the crowd. She kept on staring at her and all the while the other girl was busy in her phone until the counter buzzed her token number.

She saw her taking her coffee to her table, sitting there contemplating and adding sugar to the coffee - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 cubes, kept on stirring the coffee and still didn't like the bitterness. She mustered some courage and decided to go and speak to her after all they both were alone and maybe lonely.

She - Hi, can I sit here.

The other girl (with a blank face) – Ahem! Yes. Do I know you?

She - No. I was just sitting alone and having my coffee and saw you so thought we can sit together and have coffee.

The other girl - I am sorry, but I am waiting for someone and he'll be here anytime now. I think you should have your coffee at another table or you won't find any with the crowd filling up.

She - Oh! I am sorry. It was just I thought you were alone like me, so we could chat up while we had our coffee. Trust me I am straight...hahaha....I am really sorry.

The other girl (Her expressions getting softer) - It's ok. I am sorry I didn't mean it; it was just that I have never met or spoken to a stranger. You can sit here while he comes.

She (smiles) - Thanks. And my work makes me talk to strangers on a daily basis. I am a journalist. What do you do?

The other girl - I am a software engineer. And by the way my name is Misha.

And that is how they started to talk and revealed one thing after another about themselves. It is rightly said when two women get together they are never out of things to talk. They chatted on and on and were finally halted by a call by Misha's mother about where she was.

As she saw her watch it had been two hours that they were talking. She casually asked about her friend who hadn't reached yet. Misha said, there was no friend coming in the first place, it was just that she was scared of her.

Misha opened up more and told her, she was very depressed today with the turn of events. She is tired of her struggles; she is either on an unimportant project or without any work. People wait for the month-end for salaries; she is petrified if she gets a pink slip. She has been living alone in the city since the past eight months and it gets lonelier by the day. She wants to end it all. She has even attempted suicide twice.

That was more than enough for her to open her heart out. They sat there for another hour talking. Finally the two decided, in this city, they are going to be the go-to-pals for each other for those sad days. No matter what they are never letting the “loneliness” term come in their lives again. They may or may not get time to speak to each other on a daily basis but it'll be a ritual to meet each other every Sunday in this cafe at 4 pm without fail.

And that is how "this" cafe witnessed two sad girls coming for a lonely cup of coffee, going back as happy support friends.

P.S.  Everybody is struggling and going through their own battles, it is just that their way to battle it out is different. It is very easy to slip away in one weak moment and end it all. The suicide rate is more than 8,00,000 people every year and 25 times of this, people attempt suicide. 10th September  2017 is the World Suicide Prevention Day – “Take a minute, change a life”.  All it takes is courage, to speak up and take help. People be open and accept without judging and the numbers will diminish.

My Alexa Rank on 1st September 2017 was 5,501,560. :(