Two weeks ago, I had gone to Bombay [I prefer the old name, it has a story, a context; the same way I prefer the old name of my city]. Me and a couple of friends had gone to Bombay for the weekend. Two of my friends were there on official business, I just decided to tag along because it had been far too long since I had gone a-travelling.
When we reached Bombay, it was raining heavily. As we kept walking in the rain, the city started to strike a chord in my heart. The incessant showers, the puddles with oil slick rainbows, the brightly coloured umbrellas that stare at you like flowers in a drenched concrete jungle, reminded me of my city. At once there was a connection. The two times I had come to Bombay before, I had not felt it somehow. But this time it was different. This was a Bombay which I could relate to.
Smoking on my cigarette, sitting on the balcony of my friend's apartment, I watched as the school children frolicked in the rain washed roads, splashing about in the puddles, under the watchful eyes hid beneath the brilliantly hued umbrellas. Nostalgia.
In the evening, we went to Cafe Mondegar. Here, another pleasant surprise awaited me. The walls had cartoons by Mario Miranda, which again reminded me of my childhood. When I was growing up, we had this calendar, a small table calendar with watercolours by Mario Miranda, which I cherished. During the summer holidays, I would sit down with my drawing book and new set of watercolours and copy those cartoons. Equipped with a single crimson stalked paintbrush that came complementary with the water colour tablet set, I would spend days copying the uniquely flavoured water colours by him. 12 pages of water colour never were a restriction; characters and scenes would be rearranged to suit my need to delve into this wonderful water colour world of Mario Miranda. And here I was, after so many years, stepping into a Cafe whose walls belonged to that water colour world.
Soon, the beer and conversation flowed. Listening to the old jukebox as it played the requests, I realised a new love affair has started in my life.