Wrenching as the move was, I slowly began to find some advantages. 86 College Street – even the name had some elegance to it – was a huge building, at the junction of two major thoroughfares, a bustling, lively corner, next to a big market and an impressive array of shops selling from saris to shoes, books to bed-sheets, harmoniums to hashish. It was a colorful, lively and exciting place to be.
On the upper-story balcony there were huge placards and banners that had even more vivid pictures of the protagonists, along with names of the stars, the director and (in India as important as the director) music director. All I had to do was to open the window of my room to be regaled by a larger-than-life Raj Kapoor ogling at Nargis, or Pran pointing a huge Colt directly at me. Mother frowned when she found me mesmerized by a giant cutout of Madhubala that emphasized her impressive endowments.
There it was, the windfall of a fantastic movie for my brother and me. That Saturday, dressed in our modest finery, we crossed the street and entered the refurbished Deepak. It seemed quite dazzling to our naïve eyes, and DeSilva came out of his office to personally guide us to two front row seats on the balcony.
What I remember better is this: During the interval of the long film, DeSilva appeared with a tray of the choicest delicacies from the two adjacent establishments, the restaurant and the pastry shop. If the strength of my relative recollection is any guide, the stomach certainly is closer to the heart than the eyes or the brain.