Sunday, March 31, 2013

365 Days of Happy - Day 90

Some of my classes require me to sit in front of a computer, not at a regular desk. This proves to be hard for me because I get so dang distracted by the Internet! If professors sit me in front of a computer and tell me not to log on, I will do exactly the opposite. I can't not log on. I'm like a sponge for information on the Internet. My eyes are so used to staring at a computer screen for hours on end, so if I have to look at a professor instead of the computer in front of me, I get a little wacky.

However, being distracted isn't all bad.

A few Monday's ago, in my Public Relations Tactics class, I got there a little early and decided to do a little browsing on my new favorite website, Fast Company. I found this awesome article and instantly became inspired. Eating at this restaurant and creating a memory on a plate has just been added to my bucket list.
I've copied the article I found below.

Diners' Stories Decorate Plates At London Cafe
By Joe Berkowitz

Restaurant buzz often spreads through word of mouth, but at a new cafe in London, the story is right there on the plate.

Disboom is a British eatery that sets out to capture the feel of the Irani cafes of India. In addition to quenching diners' hunger, these cafes are also known to satisfy patrons' appetites for community. Apparently everyone shares dishes while sharing stories together - no matter whether they came alone or in groups. It's a social atmosphere Dishoom hopes to conjure by rolling out 80 custom-made plates decorated with stories about diners' experiences with the old Bombay cafes.

Created by OgilvyOne UK, the new effort collects stories from diners on the Internet. Users are asked to describe these fun cafe reminiscences and stories and then pick a font. Doodles are optional, but encouraged. The plates that Dishoom likes the most are then made and used at the restaurant, perhaps while diners are in the middle of making their own memories to be displayed on future plates.

Here are some of my favorite plates. You can view more of the plates on their website.

It was my first visit to India. I was in Churchgate near the station and used to visit this old cafe on the corner for some of the best dosas and uttapas in town. The owner introduced himself and made me feel like he was one of my uncles. Uncle Satish or 'Satishbhai' as I called him, invited me to their late night card games, and I learnt all sorts and made all sorts of friends. 
Only in such a cafe, could you feel like you were part of the family as soon as you walk in, and leave with not only a full stomach, but a whole new bunch of friends.

The best thing about these Irani cafes is that you are made to feel like you're at home. There is no time restriction, no one tells you to leave if you've been there for 5 hours. 
Nothing is an issue, even if you just order chai, you're more than welcome to stay for however long you like and just work or think or read. It's so peaceful, no one to hassle you.

As a kid I loved going to my dad's office in Kalbadevi on every holiday. When I went to the office with my grandpa, we would always stop at Kyani's cafe for a bun maska and chai. I always tried to ditch going with my father so that I could get that extra treat. 
That is how I first started going to Kyani. Oh and sometimes I was even able to squeeze in a mawa cake.

Breakfast one morning, at Kyani & Co. the Bhurji was so spicy it brought tears to your eyes.
Thankfully, I didn't lose the game of Rock, Paper, Scissors we played to decide who had to eat it.

Cheap as the chai was, it was too expensive for some of the working poor who used to frequent the cafes. It was not unusual to see two friends sharing a single cup of tea.
When the tea was brought to the table, the one who was going to pay for it would slowly pour half of it into the saucer and give it to his friend; he gave himself the privilege of being the one to drink the rest from the cup.

I was new to Mumbai. I stumbled upon Leopold's Cafe, a quirky little cafe in the middle of the Colaba district. A girl smiled at me and sat down with me. It was only after 10 minutes I realised she actually worked there. It felt like an old friend had greeted me, in the middle of what was a rustic setting. 
I returned every day for 3 months to see her. It turns out I did get more than my fair share from this charming little cafe. Not only friendly service, but a companion for life. Two years later, we are engaged and due to be married in Summer. You really can't beat the charm of Bombay!

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