When I went cafe-hopping

Gaylord Cafe
Roman figurines grace the backs of the wrought iron chairs at Gaylord Cafe
I'm sitting on a corner table at Gaylord Cafe and having kona coffee! (Kona is corner in Hindi) Other people go bar-hopping. Here, I am cafe hopping with Murakami and fresh muffins for company. It's strange but I never before noticed the Roman figures carved into the backs of the wrought iron chairs here. Then again, it's not that strange. Sometimes, I suspect that I 'unsee' more things than I do see. What a terrible tragedy. Most often, our gazes are turned inwards, enraptured by the sea of endless sights and sounds that our minds churn up. Now and then, some froth will rise to the fore and from it, a pearl of an idea will emerge. But that pearl is like a drop in the ocean. So I must remind myself to see without, more often.

At a crossing near Churchgate station, I realised that among the things I love most is the tendency of decisions to be formed all on their own. At Kitab Khana's Food for Soul, I simply couldn't choose between three flavours of cupcakes. Yet, when the waiter arrived, my lips formed the words with clear certainty - oreo cupcake. And what a good decision it turned out to be! A better example would be the way my feet continued to move, from Fort to Churchgate, and onwards, charting a course whose destination was unknown to me. I used to think I was a little insane for the pleasure I derive out of aimless wanderings, until I came across several Murakami and Orhan Pamuk characters who did the same. Or maybe, that's just further proof of my insanity. Some day, I would like to temporarily relinquish my bipedal status and view the world from a different vantage point.

A little unrest, a little poignancy - is like that essential pinch of salt in any good work of art - be it a composition or a poem. And like sunflowers reaching out to the sun, some knot within our soul unties itself and gravitates towards the song/poem.

It is funny how the music fades out the second the words in one's novel start sinking in. Only when the waiter began humming a few lines did I realise that the cafe was playing the instrumental version of the Hindi oldie 'tumse milke'. Oddly enough, the music went with the story I was reading - the protagonist had just begun to read a letter written by his beloved. But it wasn't a love letter - at least not in the conventional sense.

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