One fine evening, I stepped out of home for my evening stroll on a freshly rain-bathed road. The drizzle in the air hinted that there was more to come. So I went back and pulled out a rain jacket from my closet, with little intention of actually putting it on. “A new neighbourhood and a beautiful rainy evening. Maybe this is an interesting day for a long drive!” I thought as I grabbed the car keys, to feed in to my adventurous soul. Leaving my phone behind at home, I tiptoed my way down the stairs and reached the parking lot. The car roared, indicating its agreement to partner me and we were both ready to hit-the-road soon after that. As I drove, I pulled down the window glass and let the pearls of moisture fall upon me. The jacket obediently occupied its place on the back seat of the car, almost resigning to its destiny. I raced the car to unknown pastures of land. The refreshingly virgin breeze made me surprisingly calm and very happy.
And as it happens always; beautiful experiences make me feel “hungry”.
I briefly halted the car at a crossing and called out a passer by. Being unfamiliar with the new neighbourhood, I enquired about a good eatery or a coffee shop around the place.
‘Boss, yahan aas paas koi coffee shop ya restaurant hai kya?” The young lad with an old sling bag that was hanging loose from his shoulder looked almost clueless. So I rephrased my question and asked him if there was a good tea stall or a ‘dukaan’ around, as that would give me a cue to the nearby market area. Amusingly, he nodded. He raised his hand and pointed an undernourished finger at the south-west direction. “Wahan aage jaake seedhe haath ko le lijiye. Kuch dukaane hain wahan, aap wahan pooch lijiye.” I thanked him. He beamed with satisfaction and looked proud on being able to help me. I made my way to the guided path.
An arcade emerged out of nowhere. It looked like a good place to shop. I parked the car in the bay thinking that I might be able to get some fruits or maybe a bag of munchies around here. What happened next was an incredibly appetizing surprize. I saw a bakery! With childlike enthusiasm, I hopped my way over the muddy puddles, into the eatery.
It was being run by two Korean women. Both had married Indian men and were now learning how to speak in Hindi. It was indeed a delight to hear them talk in their version of the language. The bakery had a fine selection of breads, pastries, shakes, truffles and the most exquisite collection of tea I had seen on any menu. I ordered for a peach roll croissant and some apple tea to give me company.
One of the Korean women offered me a table with a view to the vegetation outside. I gladly took it. Little fairy lights were aesthetically placed over the window from where I could see the delicate drizzle turn into a downpour. I sighed. My goodies arrived in some time. I didn’t mind the wait. As I sipped the soulful apple tea and dug my teeth into the soft peach croissant, I thought to myself – that ‘discovering the unknown’ is the way to live a life to the fullest. Here I discovered one of the finest bakeries I have ever come across, without using my phone or a location pointer.
Lets go that extra mile, leave our gadgets behind, venture into those unknown lanes and meet those unfamiliar faces, each of which has an interesting story to tell. Surprisingly, they are the pieces of a larger puzzle that eventually fit in, to show us what life is from different dimensions.
It may be a bit inconvenient to begin with. But trust me, it is completely worth it….!