May 14, 2010

Jumping Bean: Fresh New Beans

Circa 2007. My friend Nokcha (Aier) and I were yakking away unstoppably on hyper-mode on Facebook chat. Somehow we got around to actually chatting about some pretty serious stuff like life, Save-the-Whales and our normal the-world-is-full-of-pain thing. Then she goes “but we’re working on something right now; it’s about music and stuff and coffee…” and dash dash dash. I was like ‘Wow, that’s awesome! Now when are you going to go out with me on a date?’

In November 2008, in big, bad, hot and sticky Dimapur, a café with the cutest, cuddliest name ever in the Baby Donald Duck dictionary came into being: Jumping Bean.

Since then, things have been more than jumping – more of rodeo I’d say – for Jumping Bean. And her owners are eating miles by the week (I prefer referring to Jumping Bean with a ‘her’ than an ‘it’. ‘He’? You’re major nuts). Jumping Bean’s two gorgeous proprietors Sarah Pongen and Nokcha Aier are probably two of the most harried best friends on the circuit.

Jumping Bean came into being on November 25, 2008 with big promises and even bigger dreams of turning Dimapur’s ho-hum music and food scene into some sort of a bucking howler. Two years running, JB’s grown into this big, gorgeous and hardworking girl now: From week-one, she’s been housing live gigs, bands and soloists, local and national outfits at least twice every month, to good response. But the start was a little tottery.

Freakingly Bad Hangovers

Sigh, memories with a girl (Jumping Bean, you dingbat) you have been with long, can be major heavy thing. I still recall a not-so-wonderful news report a local newspaper in Nagaland published about on Jumping Bean’s launch: “…the café also serves alcohol, cocktails…” Finish. Kaput. Poof. Goner.

When I recall this goof-up the newspaper made, I get angry. Technical mistakes, grammatical errors and bad English will always be a synonym for Indian print Media but one thing so unforgivable is reckless, negligent, false and capricious reporting. The false report nearly killed Jumping Bean at birth. I still remember a much blanked-and-dazed Sarah on the phone, the afternoon the report was published. You could see that the report had completely pulverized her beauty to glory. Oh, that poor, poor thing (BigHugs*).
But thank God, notwithstanding the almost expensive goof-up, little JB’s come so far today. Alright, am I a proud “uncle” or something. Whateva.   

Clarifications and rejoinders made, the matter fizzled out faster that a busy fart.


Jumping Bean is today probably the most happening music hangout in Dimapur. Of course, there are thousands of others, but one brownie point you cannot take away from Jumping Bean: she was the first café in Dimapur to commit its entire platform to all and any musician or artist – for free. And for those of you yet to step yer dainty toes into the café, here are some info: Check out the café’s Friday Acoustic theme nights. Friday Night Live is held every second Friday of the month. The night will have you listening to special guest bands from India and the north-east states performing at the café. I have lost track of the number of bands HB has hosted – but lemme tell ya, them performers are no armatures.

The Big Chomp

I’ll be honest with you here. I am no foodie and there has yet to be anything from Jumping Bean found its way into my mouth save coffee, lemonade and your omnipresent Cha-ha (Tea, dingbat). The reasons? There has yet to be a time for food for all darned causes – my interaction has been limited to rush-yer-nuts-to-JB-fast-fast for news reports. Café food is luxury for journalists, man.

So for obvious reasons here are my only takes on JB’s food: JB’s chomp department is manned by another of Jumping Bean’s eye-poppers Asen Aier, Nokcha’s younger sister. The coffee is good but give me good ole’ cha-ha any time. The lemonade is well, I dunno. My experience with lemon and its juices is limited – just about 2 glasses over the past 20 years.

Short take on the ‘Long’

But I liked this something-strangely-called “Short Bread” Asen offered me. The cookie thing looked suspicious, initially. I sniffed it; poked it left and right; cajoled it; weighted and made sure the “Short Bread” was truly dead before I decided on chomping it. I’m uncertain if bread ought to be ‘long’ or ‘short’ but with ‘short bread’ I’ll go the distance. And oh, for your General Knowledge, Asen’s ‘Short Bread’ is actually a biscuit.

So there, I don’t know about JB’s food so you gotta hunt down her patrons for a recipe or two. 

Jumping Bean is today a busy café. It is running successfully. But I will rephrase another of JB’s, well – you got it – lovely little things, Asu Aier (I’ve never met her actually). Asu explained about the café: ‘Given the many problems they have faced in running a business in Nagaland, (Jumping Bean) has managed to maintain its quality in the business and promises to hold onto it.’

I believe you Asu, I believe you. Interacting with hundreds of youngsters and readers over the internet everyday, I know what they say about Jumping Bean. Here’s to the café and her wonderful, beautiful people.

And oh yes, cough…cough…Nokcha has still yet to say that Yes thing; I’m still trying; I’m still trying.

(You may want to read the News variety, Jumping Bean's PowerCafe Girls, I wrote on Jumping Bean’s Nokcha Aier and Sarah Pongen and published in the December 12, 2008 edition of The Morung Express.

Here are the blog updates on MetalStone: American Progressive/Technical Metal group Watchtower.
Album review of Watchtower's Control and Resistance (1989), album review of the first proper Progressive Metal album Watchtower's Energetic Disassembly (1985)


  1. Hi Al, Tnx for visiting my blog.... even you've a great blog.... Good to knw that we have sth in common.... God bless!

  2. Thank you, Raju :) Keep writing, it is great keeping with the 'noise' write on. What is you hub and do Indie beat?

  3. Coffee always bite on dates! Better a jumpin bean than the girl man!