by Manisha Swain
It is said that “The path from dreams to success does exist, but one needs to have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it.”
It takes a lot of courage to pursue your dreams even when everyone around you says otherwise.
Geetika Anand, an ex-corporate employee, took a step forward and dared to follow her dreams of opening a book cafe. ‘Kitabi Chai’ is located on the 3rd floor of Marvel Sangria, NIBM Road, Kondhwa, Pune. It is one of the most popular book-cafe in the city. The cafe has a collection of more than 500 books in both fiction and non-fiction.
The interior of the cafe and its ambiance are comfortable to have a cup of chai while reading a book. The cafe not only caters to your book reading fantasies but also your cravings.
Geetika Anand, founder of Kitabi Chai, while sharing her life-changing experience said, “I worked in the corporate industry for nine years, but I resigned from my job to pursue my dreams. It was not easy for me to do so. I started Kitabi Chai three years ago and there has not been a single day where I regretted my decision to quit my corporate job.
While talking about her motivation to start a book cafe, she said, “I had this dream of opening a cafe for the last fifteen years, so when I shifted to NIBM, the first thing I noticed was that this region of Pune lacked a comfortable space for people to read and work. I knew that I had to do something about it, and that’s how I ended up with Kitabi Chai.”
The cafe also serves as a library and a bookstore for people interested in renting and purchasing books.
But her journey was not easy, as having a cafe on the third floor had its disadvantages. People found it very difficult to locate the cafe. It was not easy for her to maintain a permanent crowd, but as time went by, people started making frequent visits to the cafe and appreciated it.
But soon, due to COVID-19, the cafe had to close. The only reason Kitabi Chai survived the pandemic was due to its loyal customers.
Geetika said, “I cannot express how blessed and overwhelmed I feel to have such supportive customers. People used to order books from us, and we started selling books all over India.”
“During the second wave of COVID-19, people used to book appointments so that they could visit our cafe. The customers are the reason why Kitabi Chai is what it is today. It was not me who created Kitabi chai, it was the customers,” says Geetika.
It just takes a small amount of courage to manifest it into a dream and pursue it. Geetika’s story serves as an example of what happens when one challenges themselves to be the best version of themselves.
Picture Credits: Manisha Swain and Siddhi Dharmadhikari
About the Author:
Manisha Swain is a third-year mass communication student at Vishwakarma University.