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17.09.2012

The six people in Bean Here Bean There’s tripped out van may not be musicians, but they’re still rock stars. Follow them on the road - Chandigarh, Dehra Dun, Rishikesh, Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad and Baroda – or visit them when they park in your city, and you’ll return with new skills, interesting conversation and organic coffee.

This is a mobile café (in Delhi on September 22,23 and 24, and again on October 6) that runs on gift economy, which means you pay what you wish for the food and drink. Or to tell it as they see it – think of it as paying for the next person’s cup of coffee, since yours has already been paid for by the person before you. You can contribute in cash (either in person or online) and in kind – they have a wish list going - or you could think outside the box like one Mr Roy Jacob, whose generous contribution of organic coffee (produced on his farm in Waynad in Kerala) will be served on this trip.

Espresso Yourself

Conceptualised by Sukhmani Kohli, Nivedita Soni, Rajesh Meher , Rameez Alam, Srishti Lakhera and Pratishtha Dobhal, Bean Here Bean There’s tour includes eight Indian cities over a period of four weeks. In Delhi, the van will be parked outside Jantar Mantar, KHOJ in Khirkee Extension, Pravah in Kalkaji and Delhi University. Months of planning have led to collaborations in each city, with universities, other pay-as-you-will cafes, NGOs and youth led collectives agreeing to lend parking space, as well as any other assistance that they may need for the duration of their stay. Here they will be between noon and 7 pm, where they will dole out homemade treats like soups and sandwiches made from locally sourced, naturally grown ingredients that are in season.

Also look forward to free film screenings and workshops –jewelry making, basket weaving, photography, clowning and theatre – at the venue, another happy by-product of these collaborations where once again, contributions, either in the form of marketable skills or donations, are welcome. Seeing how Sukhmani, Nivedita and Rajesh also form the Purple Mangoes collective, regularly organising clown workshops in the capital, this could be the best way for fools to rush in.

Wish Upon A Car

Another well-wisher from Chandigarh has already donated a Tata Sumo that’s been remodeled so that it now accommodates a portable table, racks to hold supplies and a small stove and cylinder – a makeshift kitchen if you will – where originally there were seats. All that now remains is half their target of three lakh rupees: the estimated value of gassing up the van and keeping it glitch free, purchasing food, meeting legal and other logistical expenses for the duration of one month. Contributions will be met with gratitude and handmade thank you gifts, and a successful road trip this year, means another one next year, this time across more cities in India.

Bean Here Bean There’s journey will be documented online and everyone who swings by to meet them gets to map their city –places they know and love – collectively contributing towards creating an alternative to traditional travel guides. Groupies, this van is better than Van Halen!

Getting there: Visit the  Café Bean Here Bean There blog here for live updates and details of when and where they'll be in your city, call Pratishtha on 9891356403, write to beanherebeanthere@gmail.com or view the Facebook page here, to contribute towards this project visit http://www.indiegogo.com/beanherebeanthere.

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