Hangout Evening…

27Apr07

I could hear myself giggle above the soft instrumentals that enlivened the ambience at Crossword. Bill Bryson is always a joy to read. More so, when you are seated stretching your legs on the red cushioned chair in the Crossword reading lounge. The spectacled little kid sitting next to me flipping pages of a thick volume of Calvin and Hobbes, turned up to look at me with a sort of wink as I smiled at that innocent face of the next generation.


Crossword Bookstore,
Residency Road, Bangalore

Hours before, I had set out on another of the now proverbial weekend hangouts as a mild but bright sunlight accompanied by a soft breeze warmed the city after overnight rains. After being away from home for the last few months, I finally went to Forum to catch a movie with friends.

First was to brave the traffic outside Forum. Where people stick together in a little group and place themselves on the edge of the traffic signal, with one eye on the unlit red light and another on the busy road. And as the signal turns red and the vehicles stop, the horde begins to move, still sticking close to each other, not breaking until they have reached the other side safely. There’s something about this unsaid uniformity that grows in you, where you are momentarily glued to unknown faces, all on a common mission to brave the traffic.

Once on the other side, I looked at the imposing structure of Forum. Such structures about which, much is being spoken these days – the Mall-Culture et al. Already there were familiar faces all around. Those faces of fellow youngsters – waiting, chatting on their mobiles, working their fingers through their mobiles, munching fries and ice creams – the faces of Cosmopolitan Bangalore. I walked past them, past a multi-million rupee Audi greeting the visitors beyond the frisking point where I had a few friends waiting for me.

The floor receded below as we moved up the escalator getting a glance of everything from apparels to jewelry to McDonalds to the assorted noise of a Saturday afternoon. The menu at McDonalds spoke another familiar language. A language I readily understood – where McAloo, McGrill and Happy Meal meant Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The language of Corporate India.

After the movie, I escalated down to the second floor which houses my favorite hangout – The Landmark bookstore. Amen to whoever said, “A bookstore is one place where you can spend long hours, everyday, without spending a penny and still nobody will kick you out”. So there I was wading through aisles of books, with nothing particular in mind but just reveling in the pleasure of turning the pages and reading a few lines.

Books are addictive. I always need more of it, even if I were to own a million. And that’s why I headed from Landmark to Crossword at the Residency Road, to spend some good quality time with myself and a book in the reading lounge. Watching the little kid reading Calvin and Hobbes added fun to the minutes there. Was I smiling at the kid’s antics or Bill Bryson’s lines? For once, I couldn’t differentiate.

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9 Responses to “Hangout Evening…”

  1. this is such a sweet post :)
    I cannot believe I still haven’t been to Crossword even once… something that I’ve been promising myself for over a year now!

  2. 2 Pradeep

    Kishore, Crossword is such a lovely place to be in. The fact that there is place to park your vehicle only adds to attraction. The ambience, the expanse inside, the soft music and the neatly arranged books… it’s just a pleasure to be in there among the books.

  3. 3 Kishore

    Srividya,
    Thanks. :)
    Oh mann, you must visit crossword. It’s such a lovely place.

    Pradeep,
    True! Is it any surprise that I go there every other weekend? :)

  4. 4 Jax

    I miss those excursions we used to do every fortnight… :-(

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