Monday, August 17, 2009

Past Forward

The tiny café stood at the right hand corner of the street when we faced the Morris road running along the girl’s hostel.

The entrance had four steps flanked by a small patch of green on both sides where tube roses and hibiscus grew in irregular bushes. These footsteps led to a small, square area enclosed at two sides by French windows. Bamboo curtains hung on the windows providing the quaint little café with the required privacy. The atmosphere inside was always peppy and a bit loud for my taste, but we all enjoyed sneaking there now and then to indulge in our sinful treats of frothy cappuccino and black forest pastries. The owner Danny was a young, charming looking fellow who we all thought had gaze like Sean Connery.
We had recently watched the re run of ‘Diamonds are forever’ in the local theater and were swooning over Connery along with our Moms.

Danny always sat near the entrance at a small highly polished desk and seeing our group enter, a secret smile would appear in his eyes which he did not try to hide.

Years ago. We were all teenagers, and living in girl’s hostel, studying in a girls’ college we had little access and interaction with men, with exception to our male lecturers.
The owner of ‘Danny’s Café’, which was named after him, was someone we all found attractive, collectively.
Mainly because we did not have much access to other boys except at annual and other cultural functions and secondly because he was a young and dapper looking fellow, and wore very smart clothes.
He would play the seventies hits of Boney-M and ABBA. Numbers like 'Daddy Cool', 'Rasputin' and ‘Take a chance on me’ by ABBA would play in his café along with romantic solos by Cliff Richards such as ‘Fall in love with you’.

Sundays used to be the high point of our days when we were allowed to go out all day and the curfew hours were flexible. But Sundays were always very crowded and my group preferred to sneak on weekdays when the café would be less occupied and Danny would be playing the hot, catchy numbers exclusively for us.

One day he slipped Donna Summer’s erotic ‘Love to love you baby’ in his record player and we all blushed, bending over our coffees, each of us thinking secretly that he is playing it exclusively for me…

Looking back it seems such good, pure fun. No hassles. No hang-ups. Danny flirted openly with us. Who in particular was he attracted to, we never knew.
He was quite crafty that way.
But the most interesting thing was that we shared our ‘object of desire’ without much competition and jealousy.

P.S: The picture above is not of the original 'Danny's Cafe.' I just found it randomly on  flickr.

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