Sunday, 10 August 2014

The end of cafés?

Cafe Zoe.... It's an amazing refreshing cafe in lower parel.... Aadi and I went there for the firs time when we got our free weekend.... When mommy had taken the bumping off to Hyderabad... And we really loved it.... The high ceilings the openness of the space... The yum food.... All of it till we noticed this little menu like card on the table: a note to parents. 

It was a list of dos and don'ts for people who bring their kids... 

1. Keep them at your table at all times.

2. Keep their nanny's with you at all times.

3. If they run around and make noise we will make you and the kid stand in the corner. 


And that's supposed to be funny? 

Just say 'we don't entertain kids'... Simple as that... Don't ok it for kids and then treat them and the parents like vermin. 

Yes I know... Most, I'm sorry to say, but Indian parents do have a very 'over' liberal way of bringing up their kids.. 

"Bachahain, chalta hain" attitude can be absolutely painful.  And kids of these parents are spoilt rotten eggs... I agree to that too... In fact I recently met an owner of another cafe close by with whom I brought up this topic and she was shocked to hear that they would actually write that and put it on a table. 

She recently had a large group of people with about seven kids who nearly destroyed her walls with their crayons, messed up her magazine and coffee table books rack and almost toppled a five lakh statue. After these guest left she had to shut down her cafe for two hours to clean it up... And she said the parent were unapologetic. Which is sad, but it still didn't make it ok to put up a card on the table. Though they also ask a customer if they have kids in their party and place them all together. 

Also I don't think that crowd is going to cafe Zoe to begin with... I think they would have a lot of the new age young parents who know better.... Who restrain the kids to normal behaviour without tying them up to the chair. 

It's sad I feel, and maybe this is because of the way 75% Indian kids are brought up and are allowed to behave in public spaces, most new parents are looked at with a sense of worry. Cafés, restaurants movie theatres airports ... You name it and you will see that they are just not welcomed... It's also because most people are so short on patience with things these days that a crying baby is simply looked at as annoying.... No one will stop to think that maybe the kid is tired or hungry or sleepy... And if they do then they also think 'why can't the parent just take them home' and what, stay cooped up in their house till the kid turns 18? 

And family restaurants are just so family restaurants that we just don't feel like going there..... We aren't from that generation.... Of going for big dinners with Chacha tau and all the extended family members.... The new families are small sometimes only three.... And we like going to chilled out cafés and having brunches... But I feel like there aren't many places that cater to us.... It's either the big five stars or your home.... 

I wish more people would open up kid friendly spaces where parents like us can go sip on a beer while our kids can run free..... 

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