Everyone has that special hang-out at college. The place where you can sit and unwind, talk for hours or just plain go-and-meet up. For me that special place was AFJ.
It was not the serenity or calmness of the place that drew me to it (in fact, AFJ was the exact opposite of those things, being situated right on the side of a busy road!!). It was not even the seating space it provided (There were random chairs put about a footpath!). It was the heavenly cold-coffee.
AFJ... or 'All Fruit Juice' (for the uninitiated) had the absolutely the BEST cold-coffee that I've ever tasted! (It was way better than the cold-coffee at CCD, which was just 10 steps down from it!) And me, being a major cold-coffee addict, the place acted like a magnet. I would stop there on my way back from the hospital. I'd stop on my way to the library. Or sometimes, just come all the way from the hostel for a nice glass of coffee!!
Whenever we had time left after postings,it was a routine for us to collect there. SMSes were sent, phones rung: and the message was passed on, so that whenever whichever batch got free, they'd start coming over. And after an ice-cold drink and sharing the 'happenings' at the postings, we'd move for further classes. It was a well deserved break.
Then there were evenings, when there was the matter of a 'treat'.. for parents' anniversary, siblings' pass in exam, new bike, newborn cousin, winning a bet, getting a new goldfish, random meet up...and what not!!
Seasons were not a issue! The coffee was always ice-cold and refreshing. It was a retreat in summers and a time-out in exam-filled winters!
Then we all had our own specifications for the coffee. I'm sure bhaiya knew them by heart by our fourth visit there. ( Heck! at the volume we shouted, I bet even the pados-wala panwalla knew them too!). But then, the ritual was never complete without each one ahouting out his own type. It was always a chilled, kam meethi, ekdum strong coffee for me :)
Why am I getting all senti and writing a post about it?? Well coz, the shop got shut down about a year back. The bhaiya there moved to Jaipur, in search of greener pastures, to open another shop (not a juice shop this time--infact he's opened a toy showroom there). Well good for him. But I'm left here all sad & whining everytime I have craving for a cold-coffee (which is atleast twice a day!!). Though I found a minor substitute for it, but still
nothing has been able to replace that special chilled, kam mithi cold coffee at AFJ!!!