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  • Writer's pictureHaripriya Sridharan

Late Bloomers Lament: A personal anecdote

Updated: Feb 5

I walked into a cafe by myself and read a book. An activity I've done countless times.

However, today I felt a bit different and I would like to log this moment.

While my posts tend take a neutral tone, for this specific one, I intend to touch on sensitive topics, all while sharing my contemplations.

This is my second visit to the place, Cafe Reset in Koramangala. I was initially drawn to the name, (recognising my unconventional thought patterns) considering it as a spot for mental reset. While riding my bike to this location, I decided to listen to this podcast featuring Arghya Sengupta joining along the side with Amit Varma.

Arghya Sengupta has served on a number of government committees including the B.N. Srikrishna-led committee of experts on a data protection framework for India

I initially wasn't piqued at the outset, but podcasts on a personal note, helps aid my listening skills. To my surprise, within a few minutes, I was deeply absorbed and it led me on a different journey.

I found myself quietly seated alone in the cafe, immersed in my thoughts as I read through numerous blogs and articles, taking notes in silence. The last time I felt this focused was back in my college days.

While I got all fancy and romanticised this ordinary moment with a cup of coffee by my side, I did spend sometime reflecting on why I feel that way.

  • I should acknowledge the privileges I currently enjoy. Like having a home, eating three meals a day, the ability to make purchases without worrying too much about finances, and the comfort of an open and honest partnership. With more than fundamental needs met, I find myself in a position to ponder what lies beyond this zone of comfort.

  • I also do acknowledge that, I find myself becoming more vocal in articulating my thoughts, all the while cognizant of the influence that accompanies it. Deliberate or not, I understand that this is rooted in a profound sense of safety, knowing that I am surrounded by supportive individuals.

  • Additionally, I am also conscious of the unique privilege that comes with residing in a city, which in comparison to many others in the country, offers an open and inclusive environment. Here, I can live independently, express myself and choose my attire without the fear of discrimination. This assurance is bolstered by the knowledge that there are legal protections in place, ensuring that any form of misconduct would result in condemnation.

I feel its important to acknowledge the privilege because it inherently instills a profound(sometimes false) sense of "safety".

However, I couldn't help but think that, for any society, in the pursuit of security or stability, it's becomes even more essential to strike a delicate balance between safeguarding the well-being of everyone and upholding the democratic principles.

This balance should ideally foster an environment where EVERY individual, immaterial of their believes, gender, caste, or ideology, can sit, contemplate and talk, much like myself right now, without the constant burden of worry or fear. I can't help but worry, as a nation, we are drifting further away from such ideals with each passing year.

With that thought, I finished my coffee and headed towards the bill. As I did, I happened to notice the book, The Crooked Timber of New India. I picked it up, read the prologue, and ordered another cup of coffee to read for one another hour. I continued to take notes and verify sources. I enjoyed this time of mine.

Having done that, I'm planning to conduct a personal experiment by visiting this place regularly to read one chapter each week.


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