All of us, at some point or the other, feel like just stepping out of the house or the office, taking a book and sitting in a corner with a cup of something warm or a glass of something cool (depending upon the weather and the mood), and a plate of hot buttered toast or chutney sandwiches. Well, in Bangalore, Koshy’s Parade Cafe (simply known as Koshy’s) is the place to head for. An old Bangalore institution, it has been around since 1940.
The cavernous room with its pillars, faded photographic prints on the walls, formica table tops and chik blinds on the windows, Koshy’s still carries some of the soul of old Bangalore. It is one of those places where one is equally comfortable either in a group or alone.
The regulars include writers, journalists, black coated lawyers and recently some real estate people. Of course, the readers are ever present. It is not uncommon to find a person having lunch with a book propped open against a bottle or the sugar pot. Those who order lunch are honoured with a table cloth but even without one it is nice to sit over a pot tea or put your book aside to stare out through the chiks at the pavement outside, baking in the sun.
A customer sitting quietly with a cup of coffee/ pot of tea/ glass of beer/ fresh lime soda and a book is pretty much left to themselves by the serving staff who are very familiar with the regulars. The nice thing is that although the volume of conversation may be high and the room noisy, one is able to create a cocoon of reading at one’s own table. The buzz of conversation is so much a part of the background that it does not interfere at all with the book.