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To be continued…..

Someone, somewhere has said that writers are a notoriously unhappy lot. I can’t quite definitely concur with that someone’s statement, now, even though not so long back, I quite definitely did. I’m sitting in a coffee shop in downtown Iowa city -one which I have started frequenting- more so over the past one week- The Java House. I’m grinning like an idiot while I type this out and I’m quite certain the patrons here have started viewing me as some sort of freak as I have the exact expression on my face every single time I’m here. Maybe its my intense love for caffeine- my friends often joke that if someone were ever to develop a perfume customized to my tastes, coffee is the only ingredient they would require to create it. (Incidentally, I’m a big lover of quality perfumes)Joke apart,  I’m indeed a die hard coffee fan- mind you though, I’m no connoisseur- I can’t tell an espresso apart from a latte for instance and so on and so forth . The aroma of freshly brewed coffee does have a magical effect on me however, making me in an instant energized and simultaneously motivated. Java House has therefore, within a matter of weeks become my regular city haunt- It smells what I in my head think heaven would smell like. Ok, maybe that is pushing it a bit far. But I hope you get my drift- the aroma of coffee intermingled with the taste of fresh crisp croissants on my tongue- well does one really need anything more in life? For me, for now, its all I need. Or maybe, just maybe its the music. I apply the same philosophy to my love for music as I do to my love for coffee. There are no favourites, no one genre surpasses another in importance. Mood dictates much of my coffee choices and mood definitely, absolutely dictates my playlist. I could be playing classic rock songs on loop one moment and the other very next moment its country that appeals to my ears. Yes, my tastes do skew once in a while, with cappuccino at times becoming my consistent order at cafes, bistros (whatever you’d like to call them) and alternative rock at times does start monopolizing my top played songs list. The music in Java House adds to its overall atmospherics- its jazz music played softly over the speakers in a primarily dark setting.
Bliss! But, I must get back to the point now. This elaborate description of my likes, dislikes, however painful it was for you readers to go through is extremely important as you need to understand where I come from to understand what I’m going to tell you very soon. And, anyways editing has never been my strong point- bigger, longer is always better in my opinion. My mother is much of the inspiration behind what I write- she’s the one who has always pushed me to test my limits, get into adventures, explore so to speak. She was also the driving force behind my decision to come to Iowa for the summer school programme. But this post is not about her. Its about me and my experiences so far. Just you know, two minutes back, I received my freshly brewed Americano and while inhaling the familiar aroma, I have decided I feel at peace with the world and nothing can go wrong. My mother has always laid great stress on the importance of travel- how it adds to one’s personality, adds to one’s CULTURE- she’s your regular museum junkie- the kind who prefers museum browsing to departmental store browsing. She’s also someone who has told me more than once how the cafes of small towns and big towns reflect the towns’ overall vibe, their spirit, their demographic. I mean hasn’t someone said somewhere that coffee is the universal binder or maybe I’m just making it up. But I really do genuinely believe that coffee helps individuals to bond (you can substitute if for tea as the universal binder if you wish).
I myself have had some incredible disussions, debates, in the various cafes I’ve been to on my very limited travels. Iowa city being a university town offers even more so of an opportunity for cafe style bonding. Sure, I’ve never myself talked to anyone in any cafe which I’ve been to in the city (Java House, included) but I have however, been privy to some pretty insightful conversations amongst locals- infact this one time, I heard this super athletic guy reading a big, fat physics book tell his mate about a particular music thingie happening around town and believe it or not I did go for that music thingie and had a very good time on an evening which in its absence would have turned out to be quite dull. You, the readers might have wondered at the mention of writers, happiness and all that jazz at the beginning of my post and its context.
Well, you see, I have realized, just recently that solitude is not the only fodder for great writing- random conversations with never to be seen again strangers can be equally stimulating, equally inspiring. This realization perhaps wouldn’t have come to me, had I not taken this trip or maybe it would have- who knows. But my point is that travel of any nature is never in vain, it always provides some food for thought, some questions for further debate- be it the academic discourses in the classroom or be it the eccentric, intriguing stranger in a coffee shop- both inspire original ideas to flow, flow fast and enable the mind to open up- beyond its assumed limits. But, I guess I am drifting now- Its 11 in the night. here in the city- the attractive, intriguing stranger has left and I’m forced to resign for the night as well- If a little romance (of the non-traditional variety, ofcourse) can enable me to write without stopping for 2 hours- I’m going to be back again- occupying the very same place where I sat today and where I sat on my first day as a curious visitor, a newbie. To be continued !

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