Yesterday, I met an Irish woman who is on a visit to India. She’s actually spending time in Goa but dropped in to see the city. Alone. Her friend didn’t want to leave Baga beach I was told. We spoke a little, of cities, of people in cities, of people staring at tourists in cities, and the tourist places of Mumbai. I told her that I wanted to do this too – travel alone I mean. It seems incredible to me how she was unafraid to just venture out to Mumbai from Goa in a bus, alone. She remarked I had still time to do it because I am young. I chuckled. I am young I reaffirmed to myself and went on. More on that briefly, as I wish to digress.

I am currently in possession of my fourth Elif Shafak book titled The Flea Palace. I mentioned it to a friend in the dawn of the year that I wanted it. (I also finished Forty Rules of Love: A Novel on Rumi by Elif Shafak on 1st January. I was so thrilled you have no idea.) So, my friend took into account my casual wish and sent me a copy of The Flea Palace. The blurb says that it is a book about ten infernal families living in a dilapidated building. Honestly, I can’t wait to read it, but I can’t stop reading Kate Atkinson’s short stories book Not the End of the World. Atkinson is a huge bomb in a small package. Each of her short stories is so wildly different and bizarre that reading them and chuckling, gasping and confounding is pretty normal. I like her. I do. So, when my friend sent me the copy I hid my face and said “Why? It was just a remark.” He said, “All wishes made at the start of the new year should come true.” Woohoo.

The first day of my year (for those who believe that it is a reflection of how the year will be) was superb. I read a great novel, wrote a short story of my own, cooked, and regaled with friends. I was just so happy. So, if this year’s blogoversary post is otherwise, you know the superstition is just that. So far, things have been pretty neat. I mean, I know it’s been only 5 days, but whatever. I heard a lovely story about what a monkey said to a mosquito. The story was great! Insightful, even. I also took off in the universe, met three headed supernovae, dodged a dolphin and ate my coat for a meal. So, all in all, it was pretty exciting. (I did all this. No jokes.)

Tomorrow is the day when I gift two of my friends some wonderful gifts that I bought them. I’m looking forward to it. One of the gifts was so nice I bought one for myself too. It’s a sticky bookmark in the form of a bus ticket. Happily Unmarried is the creator of such fundoo stuff. So, my bus ticket comes in a pack with Delhi’s green bus and there are 3 stacks – blue, yellow and pink – with fares and numbers written on it. I have used them, and they’re just for kicks, no real use actually. Also, I got another friend a book which I can’t wait to give. Tomorrow is gifting day!

And now about what happened after I went on after meeting that lady. That afternoon, I left home alone hoping that I had a crazy friend who I could let down my hair with, talk about insane stuff, have a good meal, and laugh a lot. In short, I wanted to have an action-packed evening. (Bollywood dialogues too) But that wasn’t happening. So, I made my way to South Mumbai and made a phone call to try my luck and my Samwise Gamgee was willing to meet. Yay. After I helped the Irish lady with a cab to Marine Drive, Samwise and I (impromptu plan) went to Kala Ghoda Cafe (KGC). It took us a good walk to reach Kala Ghoda Cafe which nestles inside the gullies of Fort. And the good is not sarcastic. Fort is beautiful in the evenings. Samwise was using Google Maps which if I used we’d end up in Crawford Market. (For the uninitiated, Crawford Market and Kala Ghoda are in opposite directions.) We marched past the cafe and didn’t spot it, which was superb because I noticed the windows of the buildings in the lanes had baskets of flowers on their sills. Also, the walls were of stone and there was a huge possibility I could have been in Europe. Only I wasn’t. We spent a quiet and spirited evening in KGC. Samwise tried a lot to “streamline” the conversation, but I couldn’t stop pouring honey into my mint infusion and distracting him. You’ve got to go there. You just have to. And when you do, please do yourself a favour and have the carrot cake with the lemon rind cream. It is to die for. I took some pictures of the place which I will not share. You have to see it to believe it.

And now I am off to adjust the tinsels the unicorns sent above my bed. A Happy 2014 to you. Like I said to everyone else: Be crazy. Be unruly. Break your limits. Surprise yourself. (I also added the emoticon of a red balloon after that.)

Happy 2014.

P.S.: Okay! One picture.

A table waiting for us, our conversations about the white walls that would be better with frames or maybe not. About how silent it is so much that i can hear your heart beat. What does it say? Carrot cake? Yes, of course.

A table waiting for us, our conversations about the white walls that would be better with frames or maybe not. About how silent it is so much that I can hear your heart beat. What does it say? Carrot cake? Yes, of course.