Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Visitor

All you poor “Migrant” people, who get transferred to places for work, those of you who shift to new cities for jobs, marriages etc, will identify with my feelings here.

Once you leave a city that has been your home for several years, you continue to identify it as “your city” but only till you revisit it. You may still have friends, relatives staying there. Some of you lucky ones may even own a house, yet when you revisit that city you are in its past, you are the visitor to that city, you never feel you belong there anymore.

On this thought I try as bravely as I can to pen down my feelings, an ode to the city of my past.

THE CITY OF MY PAST: I rushed into her arms, like a long separated lover, savoring her sights, sounds and smells. She seemed cold and distant, unyielding to me. My favorite haunts felt outlandish, brimming with strangers, cacophony of uncomprehending conversations, and then the deafening silence. I felt alienated by her changes, even though they were minor ones.  I was the observer, a clear glass window separating me from them. They belonged here, I didn't, I had a return ticket in my bag somewhere, and I had to leave.
MY CITY NOW: At first I was resentful of the move. Hated every moment of the shift. Grumbled, fumed and cursed my fate. She seemed to me shoddy, unworthy of my caliber. I mocked and jeered her for her eccentricities. Comparisons made things worse. I was an emotional wreak at this break off, it tore at my sensibilities, at my very existence.

36000 FEET ABOVE THE EARTH: The city fell back and I rose to greet the sky, my solace in the apathetic flight announcements and travel brochures. I longed for my home in the new city, where the comforting privacy of my pillow would allow me to vent out my emotions. The city had discarded me like bland  over-chewed gum.


THE CITY OF MY PAST: I see her sometimes, snippets of her beauty, in films, on TV, once overwhelming to me- now, just my yesterday, falling away like dried brown leaves. I had held on to her like you hold on to a single earring when the other half of the pair is lost. What good was that for? So I have decided to toss back the pebbles I had picked up at the beach, back into the sea, where it belongs.

MY CITY NOW: She welcomed me back with a demure expression, never questioning my loyalty. It was as if I had never left. I smiled at strangers, there was a quaintness about this place, I think I may start liking her after all. My home felt snug and secure, domestic chit chat and catching up no longer mundane. I felt so happy to be home, the plate of hot dal-chawl priceless in its value. I set my alarm for morning walk, the forests at Seminary Hills were calling. I think I fell asleep with a smile.

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