My entire childhood was spent lapping up books and comics and so, it was with dull horror that I moved to Andheri West for my new job. I was distraught at being away from my weekend haunts and book by weight sales, until one lazy afternoon, a bunch of us discovered Leaping Windows – a comic book café / co-working space.
Beloved pop culture characters run along the walls and sombre superheroes stare in disdain as muggles consume food, unaware. Leaping Windows is Comic Con on steroids and I am one hit away from becoming an addict already.
I casually ask the most important question – “Do you have all-day breakfast? Not the type where you say all-day, but it actually ends at 4 pm?” The server answers in the affirmative immediately creating a lifelong patron.
My vegetarian friend tut-tuts at the lack of vegetarian options which distresses us for about 5 seconds.
But, his Lady Marmalade salad (“Hold the chicken”) with its marmalade-soaked croutons, iceberg lettuce and parmesan, holds its own against my Bacon of my Eye (French toast topped with oven-roasted streaky bacon with apple slices!).
Hyperventilating in a food haze and unable to resist the comics’ siren call any longer, I clamber down the treacherous flight of stairs to the library and draw in a sharp breath.
Rows of shelves run from the floor right up to the basement ceiling, full of graphic novels and comic books. From the dark horror of Doomed and 28 Days Later, to Gaiman’s psycho-fantastical Sandman, from the classic Tintin and Asterix to everything in between, Leaping Windows is truly a depressingly rare and outrageously brilliant pop culture haven.
Cozy cub holes with wall art and cushions make for the best reading nooks. My favourite is the Tintin cushion against a backdrop of Dr. Octopus arms and I immediately establish territory by hissing at other readers who beat a hasty retreat.
A plump, deliciously rich, honey sour cream-topped Bugs Bunny makes for the perfect accompaniment to the Gothic absurdist storyline of Gaiman’s Coraline which is my first nostalgic pick after 15 minutes of frantic browsing.
As I sit there, flipping through a copy of Hellblazer, one of my favourite anti-hero Bible-meets-urban legend narratives, I spy the entire works of Bleach and Naruto and a solid 6x2square foot worth of unexplored Manga, which adds to my dilemma.
I am catatonic with indecision about what to read next; from the cult status of Y – The Last Man to the humour of Topshelf, from the mainstream legend of Civil War to the dark promise of evil in Suicide Squad. So, I do the only reasonable thing to do and pick them all.
I settle down unceremoniously, my arms bulging with the day’s haul. The reading rate is Rs. 50 per hour. I feel like opening a Rs. 500 tab to get things going. And even that might prove to be too little.
How to Get There:
Where: 2 & 3, Corner View, Ashok Chopra Marg, Opposite Bianca Towers, Versova, Andheri West
Cost for 2: ₹1,200 for two people
Timings: 10 AM to 12 Midnight
Contact: +91 9769998972
Find them on Facebook here.