Note: The writer of this piece is utterly and hopelessly in love with the place described, so please bear with the overtly exaggerated tone that is typical of such a state of mind.
I was completely oblivious to what lay ahead of me as I climbed the rustic steps of Sheesha Café at Koregaon Park, Pune. If someone asked me the address to heaven on earth, I’d name Sheesha. Pristine, and peaceful, it’s a place you can sit at till the end of time. In fact, this poetic tone of my description is an outflow of a heart that melted at the very sight of Sheesha….sigh! (I talk normally otherwise. Really.)
Okay, I’d better wipe the smitten look off my face and describe this heaven in some understandable terms. Tucked away in the plush locality of Koregaon Park, Pune, Sheesha is an Iranian food joint. The interior designer of this place actually deserves …… nothing! That’s because its location does the trick. A serene neighbourhood, a canopy of leaves, chirpy birds, the beautiful soothing weather of Pune and ample space are a natural recipe for success. What’s a designer left with to do then? Maybe, just arrange a few comfortable sofas, chairs, tables, chandeliers and of course, carpets – which he happily did. Friendly and experienced staff added to the comfort. In fact, the surreal ambience cleverly veiled the disappointing culinary experience. Honestly, I was happy to rid my mouth of the strange berry rice taste; the curry however was enjoyable. But was that a dent in the overall appeal of Sheesha? Hardly. I refused to budge from the sofa I was plonked on, long after lunch. I lay there, lazily swaying to the Jazz and Afro Latin tunes (of which I understood not a word), with a dreamy-smile.
However, I couldn’t suppress a chuckle when I read this notice on a tree-trunk. It read thus or more or less thus “This is a family place. Any inappropriate public display of affection will not be tolerated.” In a place such as this, where one can fall in love with every flying bumble-bee and every buzzing mosquito (not that there were any), you expect people to not express themselves affectionately? What are you….a stone-heart or something?