The perfect Delhi experience.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The sky always changes its color. It’s just that many of us don’t ever notice it. There are so many things to do when you live in a big city like Delhi.
As part of The Delhi Walla’s series '100 Things to Do Before You Quit Delhi', I ask you to spend a few hours on the terrace of the Indian Coffee House in Connaught Place. It's a very inexpensive place and they let you lounge over a single cup of black coffee (26 rupees) for as long as you like (Ignore the rude notice board that says, "Sitting Idle is Wastage of Time').
Come in the afternoon, around two. Try to make it in the weekend when the place is more crowded than usual and there is more scope for people watching.
One table might be taken over by social activists trying to steer the course of the world into a different direction. Another table might have people gossiping on the theater politics of Mandi House. The corner table might have an elderly man still studying the morning newspaper.
Inevitably, there will be college friends making a lot of noise. You might also spot a Civil Services aspirant studying his notes, his jeans rolled up, and his hairy legs on full view. There will of course be lovers and monkeys, too.
Oh yes, beware of the amateur photographers who would take your pictures and upload their their artistic creations on Facebook.
Of course, the best people are always the uniformed Coffee House stewards with their starched turbans.
Make sure to admire the giant Neem tree; its leafy branches cover a portion of the terrace. The red water pipe running along a side of the terrace, too, is visually stunning.
If hungry, ask for masala dosa or cucumber sandwich. Both are very good. Cold Coffee is fine, though you may like to request the waiter to put in less sugar.
As the evening starts to fall, make sure to gaze at the western sky. If it is not a cloudy day, you would feel as if you are watching an ocean.
Soon, the sky would turn black. The electrical signage of the adjacent PVR Rivoli would be turned on. But the Coffee House terrace would remain mostly dark. If you would care to look up at the sky, you would realize that you have flown a great distance since the afternoon. It would be a magical Delhi experience.