It was their bedroom in which we were sitting and having the pancakes we ordered. Shalom Cafe was a cozy little house which served as a restaurant to the tourists by the day and turned into the house and peaceful dome of a nuclear family by the night.
This was in Tosh, Himachal Pradesh. I visited it in early March just before the sudden lockdown due to Coronavirus. The most amazing aspect of being in Tosh is that there is no internet connection and you peek out of the balcony to see heavenly views and no one to disturb you. You look behind and you would see Himalayan villages and kids playing cricket with wooden bats.
In Tosh was the first time I walked through the villages in Himachal and also saw the community neighborhood in a mountainous terrain. The houses were colourful, rustic and vintage. While on the way to explore a nearby waterfall, on the way , we found Shalom Cafe. The Porch was beautifully lit with decorative lights, plants and cozy tables. On our way back, in our pangs of hunger,we went inside and ordered pancakes to eat. While we sat to relax a bit, we looked around. The walls were covered with Mandala Tapestry, dim candle lights and in the corner we spotted a television. Then we noticed the beddings and the bags books and of school children kept right across us in the room. It was then I realized that this was the bedroom/living room of the family running the restaurant which they turned into the restaurant space since the morning.
I wondered at the simplicity and also perhaps, the necessity to share and lodge out their private space, their house for their livelihood. I felt happy to see this amazingly sweet couple working together to manage the restaurant and serve the customers. The children also assisted them and I felt happy in a way to see this acceptance and adjustment among them. But it also made me think that would anyone else in any other circumstances would have done so- roll up the beddings, keep aside their children’s bags and shift their daily life commodities to make space for the customers there? This was the first time I saw such a successful and happy Family Restaurant.
#travel-writings #travellogue #indiatourism #life