Friday, July 4, 2014

SOCIAL: The Joy of Being Offline

Its the new black. Hauz Khas Village in Delhi. You are not a foodie, college dude, fashionista , an aspiring photographer, tourist or a Dilliwallah for that matter if you haven’t spent some time in the bylanes of HKV (that’s what it is popularly called) or it’s cafes.

In this very market that has recently been dogged by safety and environment issues there is a new entrant- SOCIAL.  The quirky cafe bar, from the stable of Impresario, is making the right noises with its concept. Its first floor doubles up as a collaborative workspace where freelancers, those without office but with work, can use it as their office space. The deal? You pay Rs 5000 for a month which is redeemable on food and drinks and get access to the space, free wi-fi, printers and even a board room that can be used on pre-booking. It’s high on the coolness quotient. And what I feel the only thing that probably will keep some at bay is that it’s too cool to be a regular workplace. Frankly speaking I find cool and quirky workplaces a little intimidating and distracting.
This week, I used Social as a workplace for a day, actually just a few hours...loved my mushroom, veggies and pesto panini , the internet connectivity was great and the place was well lit. Even liked my colleague for the day.. ex-editor of a lifestyle magazine who had recently quit his job. His bags are packed, he is moving to Afghanistan to teach English at an institute.  We shared fries and ideas on blogging since he wants to write online about his life in Afghanistan. He must after all internet is the future. But then it has killed that urge to socialize offline. Social as a brand is about rediscovering the joy of being social offline.

There is more to this cafe-bar than its collaborative workplace concept. Its anti-design, food done in a quirky way and the prices are sure to attract HKV regulars and foodies. There are bulbs hanging from the ceiling, the furniture is not assembly line, some sofas are even torn (recycled)! It’s expansive unlike many other cafes and watering holes in the village. The presentation of food is awe inspiring...mezze platter served in Indian thali, fresh lime soda in a jar and girls get their Cosmopolitans topped with candy floss. Yes please..all this without hurting your pocket. The cocktails too are quirky and nothing like what you have had at a bar earlier. 

                                                                                               My colleague for the day is leaving as I am busy tweeting which being a blogger is serious work for me.  “It was nice meeting you. Did I tell you I have another job offer from a company in Fiji Islands. I am not sure if I want to go to Afghanistan. But I have told the whole world on Facebook that I am shifting to Afghanistan.” I look up and keep my iPad aside. The view from the first floor of this joint is splendid..there is the lake and it’s about to rain. Maybe I should spend more time offline than online, socialising. 


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