It was the final week of the summer vacations. All the friends were eagerly waiting or the college to reopen. There is nothing like bunking the classes and spend the day at the college canteen with friends.

We decided to hang out before the vacation gets over.

We made a WhatsApp group and added all the individuals from our circle; making a WhatsApp group is a mandatory part of executing a plan.

We came up with several ideas but in the end, we settled on a trip to Starbucks.

We canceled the plan twice; finally, we gathered at the selected location on the very last day of the summer vacation.

Star…dumbs?

Every rendezvous is incomplete without one or two guys arriving late or at least one individual dropping out at the last moment.

Anyway, I had my name wrong on the cup.

My complicated name always gets me into embarrassing and hilarious situations. This one was no difference; I am used to it now.

Being addicted to coffee, I consume a lot of caffeine per day, and I mean a lot. I am damn confident I can make better coffee than this.

All of us had plans for the latter half of the day; we started to depart one by one.

I had to pick my grandmother from the station.

As I left the place, I bumped into an old time school friend. We spent some time there; then he asked me to join his house party scheduled for the later.

I thought to ask my younger brother to pick grandmother instead.

I wanted to party like a wild animal before the vacation gets over. The trip to Starbucks left me asking for more; because it delivered nothing.

We stopped at a local vendor and had Pudina ka sharbat, a common Indian drink.

It was way better than the lifeless expensive drink at the Starbucks. He left a soon as the drink was over; he had to make necessary arrangements for the party.

I thought to go for the seconds before leaving; it was too damn delicious and I needed something to wash the awful taste left from the coffee.

Grandmother’s secret remedy

When I was young, we used to constantly visit the hometown.

I got attracted to the family dog. Somehow, despite not being a regular visitor, he got attached to m too.

His name was Jacky, but I used to call him Shadow.

Miraculously, he always used to respond to my given name.

I was not close to my cousins; so Shadow was probably my only companion.

I always insisted on feeding him myself and take him for evening walks.

At one point, I even insisted on taking him back to the city, but deep down I knew it ain’t possible.

On one visit, I couldn’t find Shadow at home.

I was sure he is out for his usual walk, but even at night, there was no sight of him. I even called out to him but he didn’t respond as usual.

Family members assured me he is out and he is going to be back soon but without him, I was lonely there.

I wanted to have him back as soon as I can. It was a long night for me.

The very next day I woke up as early as I could. I started to wait for him right outside the gate; I must have spent the whole morning at the gate, but nothing changed.

The neighbor informed me that Shadow was ill for last one week and he passed away recently.

It shattered me; I was crying without a pause since I heard the news of his demise.

Family members had no clue how to make me stop.

The grandmother made Pudine ka Sharbat for me; it was the best thing I had tasted in my life. Others told me how I started to stop crying and asked for seconds.

Grandmother was a good cook and I was not amazed, to be honest; it’s just no I had a reason to keep coming back. Even today, I feel she makes the best Pudine ka Sharbat.

The nostalgia was hitting hard; I called my friend and told him I can’t come to his party.

I finished the second drink and left to pick my Grandmother from the station.