Bright, luminous and sunlit days are here and what an idea to relax and unwind with a book in your hand coupled with the coffee of your choice. So there I was, in one of the poshest shopping streets of Munich, Germany. Buzzing with people from all age groups, you could witness children, teenagers and adults engaged in conversations, window-shopping or simply soaking it up in the upbeat and open-air beer bars of this city. As I entered Starbucks (my favorite coffee shop), I noticed that all tables were taken and I started looking around to discover a young man with those typical nerdy looks sitting all by himself. It was absolutely fine with me to share space with a stranger for a cup of coffee. After all, I had no intentions to engage in a tête-à-tête with him.
‘Entschuldigung, darf ich hier sitzen’
He looked at me with his big brown eyes, feigning to be very busy and making me feel as if I committed a mistake by asking him this question.
‘Ja, bitte schoen’, said the guy.
Now that was German for asking someone politely if you could sit there. To my surprise, I was permitted to do that. I sat there firmly and after keeping my personal belongings on the table, I rushed to order my drink. The evening air permeated with the aromatic and strong smell of coffee beans. There were girls and boys involved in a little pep talk while they waited in the long cue to get their orders. It had never been hard for me to select the kind of coffee I wanted from the vast array of options that they offered in Starbucks – Coffee Frappuccino it was, with lots of milk and little ice. The waiter gave me a befuddled look. Who on earth customizes our drinks? We are flawless. The problem was not the taste of Frappuccino. It was the ice. By the time, I read just 2 pages of my book, my drink was almost over and I was left sucking the straw in a futile attempt to treat my taste buds for more coffee.
As soon as I got hold of my drink, I went and sat in front of that man, who pretended to be even busier than before. Taking a break from my novel, ‘The Decision’ by Penny Vincenzi, I looked around and saw that the man had gone. He simply vanished in thin air. Already tired of reading for long, I started observing people around me. There was this attractive girl sitting behind my table, who was fidgeting with her iPhone. Fiddling and toying with it, she seemed very agitated. She had green eyes, her complexion as white as milk and her hair like gold; she was indisputably an eye candy.
At the sub conscious level, I wondered, what if I was as good-looking as she was. What would have changed then? Had I been more loved or cared for? Are all pretty looking people admired by their peers just because they are blessed with nice looks? Perhaps, the girl might also have some undesirable thoughts running at her sub-conscious level. So if she was beautiful, did it make her a lot luckier than others? Contradicting myself mentally, I thought that she must have also been struggling with her own set of tribulations and disappointments.
I really enjoy the idea of observing people around me. It provides an opportunity to notice the joyful and sociable façade, no matter how hollow they felt inside. It leads me into believing, even though for a moment that ‘It is a lovely world out there’. Isn’t it? But this was far from reality. Each one of them wearing a mask of contentment; they sure were hiding something inside, something which was private, intimate and undisclosed. Delving deep into someone’s psyche always made me empathize with that person. Being a psychology lover myself, I enjoyed reading about the goings-on of the human mind. How it had the potential to create joy out of sorrow and how little we used it to bring about such experiences in our life. Our immense potential in perceiving every situation and every problem to our own advantage was never unleashed.
In the midst of my long philosophical ramblings on life and people, I realized that it is dark and I should get going now. It was an unremarkable and ordinary spring day but it brought along with it anticipations and possibilities of a better tomorrow. I always liked to end all my days with a lingering hope as that infused a lot of positive energy and enthusiasm in me, to start another day afresh. I left the café with a reassurance to myself that I will come back again tomorrow, perhaps for some more contemplations and innocuous observations ☺