The cousin is hooked on hookahs. Not the hardcore kind with tobacco, but a safer version I'd call Hookah Lite. But he won't go just anywhere for this delicacy that allows him the freedom to exhale smoke without a parental caution. No, it has to be at Mr. Bean, a charming cafe in an old bungalow. So, after much enticing, we visited it with a few cousins.
It was literally like a restaurant in a house. You walk through the living room to make your order in the dining room. From there you settle into an adjoining bedroom with leather couches and are lulled into a motionless state by pleasant music. Glass walls separate rooms where the scene played out is similar: college heros and their heroines slumped on couches with a hookah pipe in their hand and a glazed look in their eyes, heads swaying gently to the music.
There he had his hookah, a double-apple, and tried blowing out smoke in rings while scandalised younger cousins watched in awe. "Can I try it?" asked the seven-year-old.
"No. You have to wait until you're in the tenth standard."
"You can blow smoke from your mouth and nostrils, but can you blow it out of your ears?"
Entirely apt conversation in a smoky haze in a coffee shop that's actually a house in Indore at 3:30 in the afternoon.