Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pink and Orange

Clean wide streets greeted me with a smile. I looked at the lush greenery around me with amazement. It’s been almost a year since we had shifted to Nagpur but today is the first time that I appreciate all its beauty and attributes. Let me elaborate.


A year ago I lived in Mumbai. Well settled in a government flat on the posh Altamont Road. I worked at a reputed school and was on the verge of completing five years of teaching there. I had made some good friends. Weekends were filled with cycling and discovering this myriad city of dreams. But my dream was rudely interrupted by my husband’s transfer to Nagpur.

I cribbed and sulked for a long time. Saw this city as a small insignificant place. Angry at my sudden uprootment, I didn't appreciate anything about this town or its inhabitants. The people were of little importance. I saw nothing of interest here. I pined for Mumbai and rushed into her arms whenever I could. You could say I lived in the past; longing for what was my yesterdays!


This Diwali vacations we decided to go to Jaipur. Although I have visited the pink city several times before, but its forts and palaces always intrigue me. Jaipur turned out to be a horror story. The traffic was a nightmare. The city was one big garbage dump. Everywhere there was dust and plastic. Even the beautiful Jal Mahal in the middle of the lake had floating debris and scum on it.



Our stop over at Delhi too was a disappointment. Although swanky and posh, the new malls, flyovers and the Metro failed to impress me as the air quality was so pathetic and the dust almost chocking.


As we drove home from the airport I looked around me. Nagpur must be one of the cleanest and greenest cities of India. Something stirred within my heart. I think I missed this place. The clean wide roads were so impressive. The lush green Seminary Hill lay like a virgin bride welcoming me back. I missed the regal grandeur of Civil Lines, the high court and Vidhan Bhavan, the hustle and bustle of Sadar. Today I appreciate the slow pace of life here. The patience with which the very polite citizens tackle their routine actually pleases me.

It took one city’s mess to appreciate the other’s order and cleanliness; one badly managed civic body to acknowledge another efficient one. The soft sweet water, the comfortable mild winters, the almost zero traffic snags and the list of positives go on. I think I am in love again! This time it is this orange city! Hold on actually I think I am in love with my present, with TODAY!



This autumn break I learnt a difficult life’s lesson. It’s better to move out of the past and appreciate the present. Today I decided to chuck out Shelley, Faiz and Galib out of the window. Their love sick poems always yearning for the past. (“We look before and after, and pine for what is not”). Today I decided I am going to live in my present and appreciate what I have. And Cheers to that!  
 
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