Sandhya loves coffee. At home she drinks filter coffee. No she is not a south Indian but she likes filter coffee. Her ex- neighbor got her used to it and from then on she makes it at home. There is something mesmerizing about mornings with coffee in one hand and the newspaper on the other. It gives the energy for the day.
Sandhya is a single mother of two kids. She earns reasonably well at the place she works. And yet she yearns for the coffee at Cafe Coffee Day(CCD). You may ask why. Because every month after paying off the home loan, the school fees, the insurance premium, the RD which she has kept for her kids higher education, she doesn’t have much left. Now and then yes she has to buy clothes for her kids who outgrow theirs; oh, so soon and for herself ( have to keep up with appearances at work, isn’t it?). She feels guilty to spend whatever teeny bit is left on her coffee.
She looks at her kids and feels happy. Happy that they don’t bother that much about money. They ask what they need, if they don’t get it they see to it that they get. She never had that luxury. She never could ask her teacher father or her husband nor she could think of spending on herself now.
‘Maa life is not just about fulfilling your responsibilities, it’s about LIVING’, her teenage daughter says. It means that fulfill your desires don’t kill them. Sandhya likes that statement and starts saving. A rupee there a 5 rupee coin there. So at the end of the month she will go over to CCD, and drink a Latte or a Mocha or a Cappuccino or something like that. She has just had instant coffee or filter coffee or the expresso sold at the Railway stations. She has never had a ‘fancy’ coffee ever before and so she dreams of going over stylishly in a saree, sit by the large windows and have a coffee. Ahh such luxury.
And so Sandhya has accumulated almost Rs 150 which may be enough for a coffee and maybe some nibbles and she is mighty pleased. Today will be the day. Before leaving for the office she tells her children, she will be late.
At office Nirmala the cleaning lady is sullen. ‘What happened’, Sandhya asks. ‘He came yesterday’, she says and gets quiet. Sandhya knows, he means her husband, ‘So?’ she asks.
‘I did not allow him inside but he barged in, beat me and took all the money around the house. Now my Nimmo will not be able to give her exams, the wretched took her exam fees too’, she cries.
Sandhya has returned home in her usual time. No her CCD date has not arrived yet. The 150 Rs she had saved for it has all been given off for Nimmo’s fees.
Image courtesy: Cafe Coffee Day