Lesson learnt in avant-garde college: You are unique....just like everyone else.
I have since then, tried to unlearn these lessons. I have since then tried to believe that I am indeed distinctive. But since then I've discovered a macabre truth - I'm worse than a non-distinct entity...I am a predictable one.
I love trying new restaurants and going for 'different' films and plays, and keep recommending them to all and sundry ('all' being friends who don't listen to me anymore; 'sundry' being friends who will soon be part of the first group). But I think I stopped doing the new wine and dine section since I visited this coffee place called 'Mocha'.
Mocha has a Moroccan theme with huge uncomfortable chairs and heavy tables and red drapes and dim-lights and cheesy foods and creamy, chocolatey desserts, and yes...coffee. I don't like chocolates or cream or cheese and the only kind of coffee I like is hot. Not really a connoisseur there. But I love Mocha.
I have been there for breakfast when it didn't have a separate breakfast menu. I have had paninis at 10:00 a.m. in the morning. I have been there until late at night and have seen them dismantling the bar. I have been there so often that some people suspect I come with the furniture. I have been there so often that the 'all and sundry' call me 'Mochta'.
Anyway, I didn't realize the extent of the damage until this happened to me:
Last year, a friend from Berkeley was here conducting research. We met for the first time at this excellent joint called Lemon Grass. We had some dinner there and then for dessert, I took her to Mocha, Bandra.
A couple of months later, one of her professors was in town who she wanted me to meet. I was meeting them right after work, and they were close to the beach, so I recommended that we meet up at Mocha, Juhu.
Before she left Mumbai for Berkeley, she was with her cousin bro at Lower Parel. She wanted to introduce him to me. I told her to catch a train and meet me at Mocha, Churchgate.
At work, we get fed up..so we go to the Mocha, Powai.
When at work we get fed up of Mocha,Powai, we venture to Mocha, Mulund.
And this affliction doesn't stay within city limits either.
I stayed in Delhi for one day only..and I was taken to the Mocha there (which by the way had a very sad, skinny Santa.)
Anyway, this Berkeley pal's classmate is in Mumbai and she gave me a call to see if we could meet up.
She: Hi Mukta. If you're free tonite, let's meet.
Me: Sure! What do you want to do?
She: Can we meet post dinner? Around 9:00?
Me: Sure...I'm in Bandra. Where are u staying?
Me: Great! Gimme your address. I'll come over and then we can do something?
She: Wonderful! Will we be going to Mocha?
Me: You know about Mocha?
She: Well, it is kinda popular in our circle at Berkeley. Shilpa told me that you may want to take me there.
So there you have it. If you visit a Mocha and see a dusty looking Miss Haversham having a coffee, come up and say hullo.