Almost ten days back, I was interacting with some of the followers on our Instagram page (@onhisowntrip) and someone asked to do a cafe event in Hyderabad. Having never been to the city before, I was excited too, and we asked people to give us cafe recommendations.
And thus on Friday, I flew to Hyderbad to speak at an event On His Own Trip had organized in collaboration with Roastery Coffee House. Last year, we had already conducted Travel story telling sessions in Mumbai (Doolally Cafe), Bangalore (DYU Art Cafe) and Kolkata (Sienna Cafe) to packed audiences. Hyderabad was going to be our first venue for 2020!
This coffee house is owned by Nishant Sinha. But my interaction before and after the event was mainly with Nishant’s brother – Prashant! A gem of a guy, he welcomed us in with a lot of warmth, and was nice enough to give us an entire room to host the event.
I had expected a regular cafe, in my head. But when I reached the venue, I saw that it’s actually a villa remodelled as a cafe. It is an adorable place. There is outdoor seating too, and its an oasis of green with plants everywhere.
Someone later mentioned they have over 1500 plants there! Inside, the decor is homely and modern at the same time, and you get a very warm fuzzy feeling being there.
I am extremely lucky that every time I go for one of these events in any city, some of my old trippers or close friends always help me out with everything. Be it registering people for the event, escorting them in, making them feel comfortable, they do all this work with unconditional warmth. The amusing thing is that these 6–7 old trippers who are volunteering have probably not met each other before, as they are all from different trips and I am the common link. But they have all heard stories of each other through me. So when they meet each other, there is this warmth and mutual understanding that they immediately have and they immediately befriend each other. Often new trippers or cafe audiences mistake some of my old trippers to be part of the brand, and this pattern I have observed in every city. I feel very privileged that our bonds are so strong, and that if I like ten people, they all end up liking each other.
The On His Own Trip tribe is very very strong.
Once the event began, it was all stories and fun and games. I might have chattered a lot, but the audience was very sweet and responded so much. What I loved was that along with Prashant, some of the serving staff too were listening to all the tales. Krishna told me later that he kept looking at them, and when there was a funny tale, they would laugh and when there was a sad moment in the stories, their faces would become sad too. It feels good to know that people were relating and actually feeling or going through all the emotions that I go through on a trip.
The best part about such events is making new friends. When the session ended, we sat there for 1.5 hours more just talking and getting to know each other more. People ask questions, people exchange numbers, people gain confidence to come on a trip solo, people share their dreams – a lot can happen over coffee in a coffee house! 😉
Prashant was generous enough to let us use the space even after the event! We ordered some food, and everything was delicious – the coffee, the pasta, the chicken sandwiches. And the chocolate brownies are to die for!
I stayed in Hyderabad for three days, and wasn’t left alone for a minute by my friends. A mostly detached and work obsessed person when not on trips, the last three days really touched me and I’d love to go back to Hyderabad, to my friends, and to Roastery Coffee House as well.
Thank you, Hyderabad!