City by the sea

I usually don’t get time to sit and type separately for the blog. My diary is, on the other hand, always by my side. Occupational hazard, maybe. But, to sound ridiculously romantic, I’ll say I still love the itch I get to cure when pen scratches its way on paper.

This is something I wrote a while back while waiting for a friend at a noisy café by the sea. You’ll see one of the million reasons why I love Bombay so much, I hope.

The best thing about living in a city by the sea is the shore itself, of course. Not because you get to lose yourself in the cacophony of the waves. But mostly just to do what I like doing best — watching people.

There’s the prospect of new love. The first time she blushes around him. The first time he memorises her coffee order. The first time they look at each other in the dimly lit, noisy street café and fall in love.

I see a lot of firsts for a lot of people here.

There’s the friends meeting after eons. As they share the cigarette, they catch up on their lives. “You’re better off than I am,” two of them will think as the third talks. One of them is having a cigarette for the first time since she quit a few years back. Her fingers haven’t forgotten how to hold on to the poison, but her mouth has. It’s as if the cigarette and her speak different languages now. But even though the skin ages, she remembers the comfort it gave her. There is no language for comfort.

There’s old love too. The muted affection of it all. There’s no care for the fleeting energy of caffeine here. There’s chai — a brewing, bubbling cauldron of love left to simmer in the warmth of its own hearth and household. Responsibility, trust and respect are unspoken words because they were learnt by the heart a long time ago.

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