This city is definitely a creature of the night. After sun-down, the energy changes to a light throb, instead of the rabid gush of day time. The roads are slightly empty. The weather's mussed with an almost-winter coolness. It's difficult to articulate it...whatever 'it' is...but you feel it. A little electric blue crackle blitzing somewhere around you. You thought you saw a flash, you thought you heard a snap, you turn around and it's not there...oh, wait...there it goes again.
Nights are when Mumbai breathes. Lets out a deep, restful sigh. It's still busy and still noisy, but people now would stop and notice a shaft of light if it filtered down from somewhere. This is when the city dreams...eyes flickering in semi-consciousness...as much asleep as awake.
Last night, I was at Ivy Lounge with my cousin. Saw Nandita Sen (I think that's her name), the actress. Very, very pretty. Lumniscent, actually. Her skin positively shone, like it had been massaged with gold dust. Cousin and I had our wonderful chats, where I was once again berated for having no focus in life, how I should be writing a book, etc. etc. It was his birthday, so I didn't harass him too much.
He didn't want to be out (which is exactly where I wanted to be), so we picked up some pastries from this darling, little cafe on Yari Road. It's got books, nice coffee, an assortment of cakes, cane furnitures, sky-blue walls with beach scenes painted on them, and most importantly, a good vibe. I really wanted some coffee, but they were shut. On seeing us, they opened up the cafe, though. We took some Dutch trufles, chocolate fudge brownies, and slices of my favorite - a date and walnut cake. Cousin asked them if they'd sell us some milk as the grocery shops would be shut at that time. They actually gave us a packet of milk - for no extra charge! Of course, we insisted on paying up, but it was so darn sweet of them!
The last few days, my nerves have been so frazzled. Work, sprained neck, no sleep, incessant snapping...but this incident just washed it all away. These people didn't even know us. They could so easily have overcharged us for the milk they didn't need to give us in the first place...but they were willing to give it for free.
There are days when one is so fed up of people. So fed up of their greed and vile grabbing. Their thoughtlessness. And then, someone does this. You know you'll be remembering this incident for a long, long time to come.
After all, one takes one's victories where one finds them. Especially when they happen in the shadow of ennui and the coolness of the night.