There are ways in which you meet people. New people – all the time, and meet them again and again, till it feels that may be you have known them forever. I had heard of the UCS and its meetings from people on Twitter – those who had attended it and loved it. I used to wonder, ‘So, they meet for coffee and converse.’ I did not realize that one day I would come to love these UCS gatherings, where people randomly met, got to know each other and live life so to say with The Coffee Nazi’s blends, conversation and the occasional loud but fun round of Taboo.
Coffee according to me has to have been a communal binding factor. Making people meet and talk and share lives and stories. No one does it better than The Coffee Nazi, who has his house open to anyone and everyone. Where friendships are garnered. I was hesitant to visit his house the first time. I was reluctant like most of us (assuming) were. However, the minute I stepped in I was made comfortable. Most of it also had to do with the smell of coffee – the knowing that I would finally get to taste Nazi’s famous coffee – and a plethora of choices, from names I cannot pronounce to filter coffee to the simple cold coffee, which I opted for. I can almost still taste it – the sharp flavor of coffee, infused with a hint of chocolate and of course milk, frothy and tongue tingling.
From the first time, the visits were almost an addiction and it wasn’t just the coffee. It was company. People play a vital role – different people, different lives and yet somewhere, minds converge. Tales are shared. Stories are told. Lives are no longer observed under a microscope. The fascinating part is that you take an online contact or acquaintance (Twitter in this case) and turn it to an offline bond – the binding factor could or could not be coffee (for instance, one UCS member, does not drink coffee).
But there is something to the UCS which is already so unique and special and then games or in my case Taboo became an integral part of these meetings. I am highly competitive and all of us who meet then get into the spirit of the game. I have met some wonderful people through the UCS - @sonikabhasin , @thecoffeenazi , @dhruvster, @madhumita and of course @shawnlewis and like I said, the connecting factor, always the UCS. I am not trying to sell or promote the concept or the idea. What I am doing is telling my story of meeting people, of drinking coffee, of cherishing moments (especially those laced with cakes and brownies), amidst soon to become friends (or they already are) and yet another well spent evening.