India: The Last Cup

Coffee, which makes the politician wise, And see through all things with his half-shut eyes, as Alexander Pope put it ironically, opened quite a few eyes in India last week. For thousands of Indians, the coffeehouse is indispensable as a place to meet friends, transact business, talk, write, and incidentally, consume coffee, along with free ice water and cashew nuts. Politicians, wise or unwise, come and go, inflation gallops, the population spirals; but in the coffeehouse things remain the same—or at least they did until the great betrayal.

One day recently, Freelance Journalist Rajinder Kapoor dropped in at New...

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