January 23, 2018

She got used to leisurely lunches in France. These were the kind where no one cared if she stayed at a cafe for 4 hours slowly sipping tea followed by slowly sipping champagne. There was no rush, which made it easier for her to lose herself in her surroundings; losing track of time and forgetting about the fact that she was thousands of miles away from home. To her, it was only inches on a map. She repeatedly told herself, “we all look at the same moon and sun anyways so….”

Some sunsets were red while others were more orange, and sometimes the moon appeared bigger and brighter depending on where she was in the world. She always wanted to see the world from a different angle.

She used to get lost in people and it never ended up well. It was better to lose yourself in a sunset and not in the arms of a man. And then she met him, and just liked that the sun and moon shifted ever so slightly. No matter which way she gazed up at these life forces they were now and forever seen from a different angle. She got what she asked for.

Here she was in Pune, India at Pagdandi Books Chai Cafe. It was a bookstore, cafe, and hangout for college students. Businessmen peaked their heads inside to order cappuccinos so that they would not have to remove their shoes before entering. Bare feet only- a rule that she was happy to follow.

Pagdandi was the kind of cafe that you could uproot and set down in Paris, and it would adapt to its surroundings beautifully.  Other restaurants catering to the western world were too eager to serve her and would try to take her plate before she was finished. Pagdandi let her just be and only came to her when she smiled and waved her hand. There was no rush. Students were sitting cross-legged on floor cushions, studying, and some even had books- how nostalgic she thought- people reading books.

On her way to Pune, she had a two-day stopover in Dubai and this is where she, yet again,  met him. He, too, was on a short layover before flying to India. “Same country, different cities, two hearts, one soul,” she thought between sips of chai. The college student across from her did not seem to be bothered or even aware that she was talking to herself. He was self-contained with earphones and coding.

They had the usual rendezvous, but there was something different this time. They ate lunch together, had some laughs together, and just were being, separately, but together. When she was about to leave he appeared to be softened around the eyes and the heart- not as resistant to her touch, her conversation, her love…a  love that she was slowly killing because she felt like it didn’t matter anymore. Little did he know that she was drowning him out because she felt hopeless and worn out by the tides of false love.  But each time she looked into his eyes she saw home. It was the best feeling in the world, and she was slowly poisoning any possibility that this home would withstand the wind and the rain that would ultimately bring the sun. She was drifting, not because she wanted to but because she felt she had to.

”It’s nice to see her before I leave again, I think I am going to miss her,” he thought to himself.



Pagdandi Bookstore Cafe

Shop No.6, Regent Plaza, Baner Pashan Link Road

Baner Pune, Maharashtra 411045

About Author

I was born and raised in Maine, where the State motto is "The Way Life Should Be," speaking to their beautiful coast line, mountain ranges, farmland, small cobble stone cities, and last but not least, the down-to-earth people. In was trained in NYC completing my MS degree in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics at NYU. After expat experienes in small town Germany and big city Dubai, I am now residing in Paris with my husband. All things are new.