MIDWAY: Espresso experience

Ashish Regmi

We sat down to have a cup of espresso, probably for the first time in our lives. By the time we appraised each other about whatever little progress we made so far and ogled at skinny girls in spaghetti straps wondering they must be cold blooded to carry their flimsy outfit so gracefully in this chilly weather, our coffee arrived. Tiny as tots, the size of the cups momentarily derailed us from our gossip track. I wondered if the forty rupees that we doled out for each cup of the coffee were actually worth it. Ever optimistic, we assumed that espresso is taken in tiny cups.

Our optimism took a jolt when we took a sip of the bitterest beverage we had ever drunk. Our Nepali palates conditioned by years of sweet flavoured good old milk coffee could not withstand the bitter taste. No wonder my friend didn’t waste a minute in making known his espresso experience. “What a way to waste money,” he said. “I am never drinking espresso again. How do foreigners drink it everyday?” Being someone who always took pleasure in accepting anything new, I said, “That is partly because we live in such a different society. The drab routine has made us insular to anything new and trendy.” The conversation then drifted from mushy to mundane topics before concluding that we as a society were not an appreciative lot.

But with it dawned some realisation. We are quite unappreciative of others’ penchant for hard work. No matter how well others fare, most of us are content slinging mud on their faces and finding fault with oneself, even when we spike our own chances that almost come calling.

Each day we regale over people’s tiniest achievements in the television. But closer home, we behave as if a bit of appreciation would undermine our status. Isn’t this attitude someway responsible in converting us to a bunch of ignoramuses? Isn’t whole-hearted admiration of others’ accomplishments a sign of progress? If so, why do we usually refrain from doing so?

Call that soul searching or what you will, but we concluded that we needed an overhaul in our way of perceiving things. And that was when we thought we needed to go for a cup of coffee – pardon me, this time not espresso! But since the bitter brew had already taken its toll on our palates, we left with a pinch on the pocket and bitterness in the mouth.

As we cleared the bill, a TV in a far corner was playing a new song by one of the rising domestic stars and we remarked we could sing better than him, couldn’t we? Huh! So much for the change in attitude!