I’m always amazed at how quickly we can adapt to our surroundings. Even when our surroundings change by 7,524 miles (or 12,109 km), we accept and move forward with our new station. This kind of transition, in which I find myself at the Centre for Civil Society, is just a testament to the credo of a favorite song of mine: L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. (Noah and the Whale, look it up!) No matter how drastically my location changes, I am able to bring with me my previous life experiences and eagerly look forward to the new ones I will bring back to the U.S. Thus, I am extremely excited about the opportunity to learn and engage at CCS, and after the first week of just six I know my invaluable time here will end much too soon.
But to get to the end of the six weeks will require a lot of work, which is both an exciting and daunting task. My research topic is on the rise of cause-driven cafes in Delhi. If you aren’t 100% sure what “cause-driven” entails, that’s okay—it’s not a cut-and-dry concept. Since it’s a relatively recent phenomenon there is much work yet to be done in the way of creating a definition for “cause-driven” as it applies to a business. This gap will be one of the first items I must address, and will come after visiting a number of cafes in Delhi and researching similar models outside the city.
So far, my research interests in this topic are studying the social impact of these cafes. One of the cafes I have come across so far has a particular political bent. They advocate communistic ideals and values, and their aim is to provide a space for fellow comrades to share in their mission. Primarily a bookstore, they also serve coffee, tea, and biscuits. Their economic model of business follows their political ideology, and the café offers their services at a “pay-as-you-like” price. This is not the only café doing so, and there is another café I’ve come across that caters to travellers which has the same model. I am hoping to find other cafes with a similar payment structures in order to evaluate their sustainability and hopefully gain insight into the type of demographic they attract.
Aside from work I’ve been able to connect with the other interns on a personal level. While there is always at least some level of goofing around in the office (read: Karan, Abishek, and Pranav), I especially love lunch with these guys! The look on Meril and Sadaf’s faces is hilarious as we run around, poking fun at people (read: Karan, Abishek, and Pranav), and making a general ruckus. Which reminds me, we really should buy the office soundproof headphones. Given that one of our rules (be on time) comes with a 5 Rs per minute late fee, we may have enough by the end of the internship to buy them a gift for next year at least! Another one of my favorite times is walking to the metro station at the end of the day. No, not just because work is done (who wants to leave CCS?!), but it gives the interns another chance to talk and goof around outside of the office. Plus, who doesn’t bond when trying to doge traffic together? It’s like a real-life version of “Frogger”! Even after just one week with these people, I have no doubt that my time with them will be just as unforgettable as the internship itself.
Well, now that my mom knows I’m okay and doing well (Hi, Mom!), I’ll go ahead and sign off here. Peace, Love, and Cheers ‘til next week!