A young doctor-friend of mine has come up the hard way in life. He is exceptionally qualified and has built a fairly-large medical-facility in our town. Whenever a young man seeks his advice, this doctor is fond of telling this: “In life, you always have a choice – to be a consumer or a producer/creator.”

Some months ago, a worried father had taken his young son to this doctor. The young man, it seems, was crazy about the latest gadgets and gizmos… as almost all young ones are… the latest and the finest cell-phones, lap-tops, tablets, bikes, cars, cameras and everything that normally fascinates a young one. So, to the young one, the doctor had asked the same question: ‘Son, what do you want to be - Just a user of an i-phone 5 or a Steve Jobs?”

That was this doctor’s way of telling the young kids, “Dude, stop day-dreaming; dream the real dreams!”

The young man’s father was hugely impressed. He hoped, his son would now feel in his heart the punch, the inspiration!

Just a couple of days ago, I observed two of my twelfth-standard students were engaged in a very animated discussion. One girl went to Jai Hind, the other to HR. So, the topic had to be something ‘happening’ one!

“What is that?” I poked my nose, “Tell me, too.”

“I was telling her about the queue out side ‘Starbucks’, yesterday,” the Jai Hind girl told me, “I and my friends had to wait for hours!”

“Starbucks? What is that?” Well, they knew how ‘dumboo’ their teacher was!

“Sir, Starbucks is world’s largest Coffee-outlet… They serve the best coffee on  planet…” explained to me the Jai Hind girl… 

And, before she could complete, the HR girl put it, all fired-up: “And, sir, you know what… The inspiring thing about them is that they don’t advertize!”

Achcha?” I raised my eyebrows!

“Yup! They got close to 20,000 stores in some sixty countries…including nearly 13,000 in America alone!” I was told by the HR girl.

“In India, they have just come… That is why the mad rush,” justified the Jai Hind one.

“Chalo, I will try my chance, one of these days,” I tried to impress the two modern college-kids… even though, I alone knew that I always rated our own ‘South-Indian kaapi’ – in our steel-lotas  - a hundred times better than all those bitter-gourd coffees of the world. In Mangalore, we friends would wile away our time -  the way today's kids do in these ‘happening coffee-joints’ – in our own kaapi-joints: ‘Vishwa Bhavana’, ‘Indra Bhavana', ‘Durga Bhavana’…

Let me tell you, it was the best coffee I have ever tasted. The best time I have ever had. The best friends I have ever had, too!

“Times have changed, sir,” I hear my two young students reminding me, “Move on… Don’t be caught-up!”

“Starbucks? What is that?” I had asked the kids.

Some three years ago, I had picked a book by the title – “How Starbucks Saved my life?” by Michael Gates Gill. It was an inspiring real-life story of an exceptionally successful advertising executive – who had it all… a mansion, a hefty salary and an enviable life-style – and who, in his fifties had crashed miserably losing it all including his wife in a painful divorce. It is the story of this man putting those pieces together… getting back on his feet, starting it all over again with humility and learning to live with dignity. Yes, he starts on the floor of one of those Starbucks outlets in America. Scrubbing floors, picking trays and reporting to someone who could be, once, his junior-most staff! The book is about the friendship Michael strikes with an Afro-American lady-employee in the store, who he had to report to… and, the lessons he had to learn to get on with his life... with dignity.

That was the first and the last time I heard about Starbucks!

Now,  these two young-girls had fired me up, all over again!

“Achcha?” I had expressed my curiosity, without telling them that I had heard about the Coffee giant, probably, much before they did!

So, this time, I wanted to read more about it. I googled, surfed... and found a lot more info. Interestingly, I found that this so-called ‘world’s best coffee store’ was founded in Seattle (in 1971) by three friends: Jerry Baldwin, an English teacher, Zev Siegl, a History teacher and Gorden Bowker, a writer. But, it was Howard Schultz, the charismatic and passionate present-Chairman/CEO of this coffee giant, that made this brand what it is today. Howard had joined Starbucks in 1982 as Director, Marketing and later, in 1987, had taken over the company. 

I realized that it was Howard’s magic and mystery that my two young-students wanted to rub on me, that early morning… “And, sir, you know what?...”

“Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built A Company One Cup At A Time.” Howard rubs his passion and beliefs on all of us – including the young kids – through his inspiring book.  I highly recommend to all our young ones this book just to endorse what my doctor-friend had been telling them for years on: “Do you want to be just an i-phone user… or, do you want to be a Steve Jobs?”

And, yes, I also urge them to read the book where I first heard ‘this something’ called – ‘Starbucks’: ‘How Starbucks Saved My Life?”

Perhaps, it maybe useful, 

somewhere down the life…

Who knows?

Enjoy the Coffee, dudes…

For me, my ‘kaapi’ will do!

Love you loads!


Pics.: Yogita Tipnis


Loved it dude!!!! Veena
Darpan K said…
Beautiful way of connecting stories! Darpan
aanchal said…
Hehehe sir we will visit starbucks together smeday :)
Anonymous said…
Feel like taking the mug! Amazing post dear. Pravin
Ruma Das said…
True, the day-dreaming doesn't help. Ruma

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