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8.10 PM, Murugan’s Idly Shop, Besant Nagar, Chennai : I ate 1 masala dosa, 1 onion oothappam and 1 idly. It was so delicious that I could not stop from eating too much. After the filling dinner, my amble on the seashore turned to be a struggle. The bill came to Rs 46.

11.30 PM, Qwiky’s Coffee Shop, Ascendas Park, Taramani, Chennai: I ordered one Black forest and Frappe Mocha. It was good, but not filling at all. The bill came to Rs 65.

Doesn’t it sound really strange? In our earlier days, we used to look at the tea and coffee shops as an affordable way of refreshment. The Madras Kaapi, or the filter coffee they sold are equally delicious. We can see a lot of people who take a small break from their hectic work schedule or long journey, drop in these shops, sip the hot cup of coffee/tea and resume their work/journey.

Now, in this new age (?), with the advent of the coffee shops like Barista, Cafe Coffee Day, Mocha and Java Green, the purpose of the coffee shops needs to be re-defined. They are far from affordable. I am talking about the worthiness of the money being spent there. To understand the reason why we expend so much there, We need to pay a visit to these shops. For example, I never felt that I needed to go to Barista or CCD. Once I went to Besant Nagar Barista with my friend, I sat there chatting with him for more than an hour over a cup of coffee. I observed two people playing chess in the next table. And I was told that Barista is a place where one can relax, sit and chat or play chess or read a magazine or play guitar over a cup of coffee with his/her friends, which I would otherwise have done on the seashores of the beach (I mean the chinwag). The bill I am paying there accounts for this ambience that is created as well.

After this incident, when I was in Bangalore for a weekend, I went to meet a close friend of mine. At that time, I felt it as my obligation to take her to Barista, and I proudly suggested us going for a chat over a coffee there. Off we went to Barista, and I ordered two cups of coffee and a pastry after paying an exorbitant bill. After a few minutes into the conversation, my thoughts wandered over something and I was nodding my head passively to the loquacious dear friend of mine. In a few moments, I could see her shaking my shoulder, and asking me where am I?

I shamelessly lied to her that I was pondering over a comment she made sometime before, and she got impressed and resumed her talk.

I was cogitating over the term Metrosexual.