My dearest Madrasis would know the taste of a piping hot filter kaapi that lightens up the day for anyone who sets their foot in the city. Luckily enough, I get unlimited filter coffee in my office, I have to admit that it’s the filter coffee that lures me to go to office everyday without fail.
It’s one of those days we stayed back in the office late, because my kuttu friend and I decided to try the late night kitchen.We ate to our heart’s content but couldn’t leave without one last filter coffee for the day. Our cab driver was waiting for us by then, at 1 am in the night, and my friend wanted to give him that coffee as a thank you. Boy, can I say that was the most beautiful thing that happened that night.
As we approached him and offered him the coffee, I saw his face lighten up with mixed emotions, a mix of happiness and gratitude with a tinge of apprehension. We told him to finish the coffee and there’s no rush. That broad smile on his face is still etched in my memory.
On the way back to the hotel, my friend tried making a conversation with him, and he told us some pretty interesting stories. He has worked in Singapore, Malaysia- Kuala lumpur, and traveled more than a techie in his/her 9–5 job ever can. As I was leaning against the window, watching the city lights fade away, I couldn’t help but wonder what makes us feel home? Is it the people around, is it the sea breeze that gives comfort on a sticky humid day, the way they make sambar( Bengaluru sambar ftw), the hustle and bustle, the green cover in the streets, the book stores, what makes you belong?
We reached the hotel. He humbly asked us to leave a review for him, and we gave him a 5-star rating. I am sure he gave us 10-stars for the midnight coffee and the banter. I felt home again, with my friend by my side, and the warm smile we saw on his face as we bid goodbye.