People I meet- The Coffee Guy

The hospital in which I work has a Cafeteria. Sitting in my chair, I can just dial 400 on the intercom and the Barista brings me coffee and snacks as ordered. I have made friends with the guy. His name is Ishu Sharma and he is a UP-ite with a Gujarati accent. He doesn’t like to use the electric grill on the sandwiches because he thinks the grill occasionally gives electric shocks. He is an English Literature graduate but all his knowledge has either withered away or was never there as he can hardly read and write in English. There is an India everyone silently knows about. Our educational degrees are a sham and our system is built on nepotism and wily networks.

The guy is fine with it though. He is content pouring coffee for random people throughout the day and likes to make friends with new doctors like myself who can help with his small curious inquiries. He is fascinated easily and can talk at length about things he doesn’t know about.

He told me that his father has the habit of forgetfulness and sometimes forgets obvious things. The details he gave indicate progressive Alzheimer’s disease and the drugs prescribed by other doctors to his father more or less confirmed the diagnosis. He keeps forgetting to mix sugar in my coffee and I am afraid he will inherit his father’s condition.

He proposed a theory to me recently and it is interesting for its unscientific-ness and silliness. He said that if two people were given objects carved out from a bigger parent object, and were made to associate themselves with those objects in their daily lives, their lives are bound to intertwine as a part of the common fate associated with the objects given to them.

To put this absurd theory in more vivid light, he proposes that if there was a large diamond and two pendants were carved out of it and were given to two different people to wear as lockets, rings or bracelets, the pendants will attract each other bringing the two people closer.

Silly theory but it depicts how hope springs fiercely and against logic where adversity is stronger. He is a man with scarce means and that’s why he romanticizes life and is able to see the world through the eyes of his fantasy. Is that why the best writers in history have faced poverty at one or other point of time? Does scarcity push imagination?

Do you believe in his theory too? Et tu?

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