Cambridge and the circus at Piccadilly

Friday, 3th September, some year

We woke up early.. err if 8 am is early that is. The past few days have been lazy. Not doing much yet the days went by a blur. Today was a bright day. No signs of the famous gray weather and yet we packed our plastic pants.

We had decided to go to Cambridge today and meet a friend of G later in the evening. While we sipped tea and stared at the neighborhood outside the window, we also got to check our emails. Dominic was kind to create an access for us on his computer. After about a fortnight of us travelling, today was when we got to check our emails properly and communicate with the world of our well being. There was an apology note from my sister in London. She wanted us to go to her place right away and stay for as long as we wished. But then we were beyond that and I wrote her a polite email refusing her offer.

We had another round of tea and then I switched on the oven to heat up some precooked snacks that we were carrying. Mindlessly I opened the oven door, and put my hand in to pick up the stuff only to leave behind a large piece of my skin in the oven grill. Yelping I put my hand under the cold water tap and I saw the place becoming a deep red and then a boil starting to form , size of my hand itself. Gawd.

With all this and more, we finally left the apartment for Victoria Bus terminus, from where we would change buses to go to Cambridge.  Which was about an hour away.

We reached late at Cambridge around two only because we started late and quickly had another round of fried chicken and potato wedges that we had bought from the same shop as yesterdays.

It was a different world. The air smelt different too.. of youth, of knowledge of fun, of love and another time, if you know what I mean. We passed through years old book shops, greens, market places, open areas. There was a map of Cambridge in braille. Cyclists went by whistling. The river Cam flowed quietly and the boats swayed idly on the river, waiting for tourists and love birds. It was after all a Friday evening. Pubs and restaurants hung together with ancient chapels.

We went past the Trinity college, marveling at the well manicured lawns, Christ college (G's mother was a pass out from a college of same name from India, and how G marveled at that), Darwin college, more churches and some more colleges.

We then walked towards the banks of the river Cam and parked ourselves near to a cake of cow dung (ok it exists outside India too), and a boisterous group of volleyball players. We spied on Spencer nearby and after loitering for a while and eating cheese, that we were carrying, we went to Spencer and bought a loot of sandwiches, cheese, ham, cakes, chewing sums and chocolates.

It was nearing dusk and we started our way back to London to catch up with the friend of G. We went past the winding roads, churches, shops and colleges to reach the bus stop at Cambridge. We took our bus to London and got of at the Trafalgar Square. The sea of people were still intact as we had left them on previous evenings. being a Friday, the crowd only swelled. After a volley of sms exchange we met up with the friend at Starbucks coffee and can you believe there was a tramp who walked in to the coffee house asking for spare coffee, just like back home. The friend was a banker by profession and recently shifted to London.

After a long conversation about our trip and more, we moved out of Trafalgar Square and walked towards Piccadilly Circus and circus it was. I think the entire city of London had descended here. Loud music, strobe lights, revelers, colorful hoardings, flashes of light seemed like an open air night club. We finally decided to make way for home. We took the train but had to get of a few stations earlier as the train would not stop at ours. We took a bus to our neighborhood from there. The morning buzz had died and strangers lurked behind shadows. It was midnight and this colorful part of town had changed beyond recognition. It was dark (the street lights did not function), eerie and a few shady characters moved around. We quickly made our way to the house and only stopped for breath when we reached the door mat. we tip toed our way up only to find Dominic awake and on the computer. We exchanged our days notes and it seemed he was just back home from a terrible evening himself!

We said our goodnight and while G took the couch, the floor was my bed.

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