Written by Nandini Sethi
Perching my feet up, I take in a deep breath of my surroundings- wet mud, a lingering scent of coffee coming from somewhere, and the distinct smell of something underlying sweetness, something encased in layers and layers of nostalgia.
Was it chocolate? Or was it ice-cream? It was in fact an amalgamation of the two- a signature flavour, embodying a mood, a day, a city.
As the pelting rain continues to halt the city, I still sit on the hard plastic chair of the little shop, book in hand, mosquitoes by my feet, relishing every minute, every drop of home.
The ice-cream has long melted, the swirls of chocolate sauce embellishing the unintended milkshake, and every spoonful makes me shiver with the cold. I bite down hard on the peanuts, more for the sound of it in the silence than the taste, and smile to myself as I chew.
The massive leaves on dwindling branches of trees whoosh against each other, making the downpour seem more momentous than it actually was. I unplugged my earphones and let the music of the trees light up the evening.
I didn’t bother booking a taxi, knowing I would never get one in the rain, and I didn’t trouble myself by going out to catch a rickshaw, well aware of the fact that I would be cheated of my money. It was getting late, home was far away, but in this blissful moment, home felt like it was right here.
A look back at the counter, all the waiters and other wanderers like me remained seated, none on phones or nose-deep in novels, rather, all watched, mesmerized by the rain, the changing seasons of this city so far away from everything and everyone else, as the lashing rain gave way to sunny skies.
And as the rays got too strong, glistening on the tables and burning our skin, everyone gathered their things and got up to leave, no one saying a word, but only fondly shaking their heads and thinking the same thing– ‘oh, Bangalore!’