Kanika Parab & Neha Kamath
Writer X Illustrator
Imagine spools of invisible thread.
Thread that’s tied to your wrist, with the other end attached to that cute girl you saw at the bar last night, but didn’t work up the courage to speak to. Imagine another thread tied to your friend’s ankle, running up to the boy on the train that rolled out of the platform just when she got there; and a third that connects two people who shared an iPhone charger at a co-working space but were too shy to ask each other out.
Now imagine hundred such threads, thousands, lakhs. A whole mesh of missed connections, a tangle of brief moments that could, if given the chance, stretch into love stories.
Our twin him and her taxis this month, chronicle one such #JustMissedLove story in Mumbai: a girl and boy seated in different cabs fall in love while stealing side glances at a signal. It only takes a moment for them to think up a life together – “separate cabs, shared day dream” - one that is soon interrupted by honking cars that cause both cabs to go their separate ways. Love is lost as quickly as it was found.
Spanning the length of a red to green traffic light, the story is written by Kanika Parab (co-founder, Brown paper bag) and painstakingly hand lettered by graphic designer Neha Kamath, who put the tale on the inside roof of the girl’s taxi.
We hope you get a chance to hail these storybook Padmini taxis at some point in the city, but in case you don’t, you can read the full story below, and use it to track your own potential story.
" A gajra is strung over the rear view mirror.
A ghazal plays on the speaker. Jasmine and her melancholy fall into an illicit relationship.
The air is scarlet, the taxi halts.
Her mouth forms an O. Her hair flows forward.
She glances sideways and sees a man in another taxi: left profile, kind eye.
They pretend to look ahead, stealing side glances. Different cabs, shared daydream: we’re together. The world is better. Let’s share a taxi tomorrow.
Red is now golden. Golden will soon be green.
It’s urgent, their need to love each other. Later, they’ll inquire about names and jobs and pet dogs.
His taxi zooms ahead & is lost in the maze of everything.
She looks up in the rear view mirror, sees a lone lash on her cheek.
She makes a wish out loud. The taxi driver smiles. "
In order to give your lost moments another chance, these ‘him’ and ‘her’ cabs come with a Twitter handle ( @justmissedlove ) and email address ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) inspired by the Craigslist Missed Connection classifieds. Send in your #JustMissedLove story with a description of the person you’re hunting for and the situation you met in, and hope that your significant stranger reads it.
For example: Girl with red felt glasses who lent me laptop charger at Khar Social’s workspace on Feb 12. You’re cute. #JustMissedLove
OR Boy with the orange afro at the Mumbai pride parade who gave me his rainbow flag. I’m still looking for you. #JustMissedLove