Bookmark #701

It has been over three years since I came back to this town, and now and then, I realise that despite the never-ending construction, the malls, the cafes, and the rich people and their large cars appearing out of thin air and taking over all our regular haunts in their fancy clothes and white shoes that are always clean, the city still has its distinct sluggishness to it and that I should move back to some small apartment in a larger metro. Maybe then I will find the others, wherever they are.

I read a book, which was an entire study on how larger ideas get exchanged faster the larger a city is, and it did feel true when I read it, but then, what will you do of a grand idea when your soul has already left your body after an exhausting two-hour train ride home? And what will you do when your family lives in another state and visiting them would be an ordeal?

When this year began, I visited one of those big cities that I loved visiting only for its sheer scale, but this time, having lived in this pocket of peace, it broke my heart in a way I can’t yet describe, and when I came back, I could not write. It was as if I had lost my spark, like a pen that falls out of your pocket as you rush about at the airport. It isn’t until you need it that you realise it isn’t there. It was like that, and I could not write for months. The few pieces I did manage, I wrote only on sheer willpower. But only now have I been able to wash it all of me. Only now can I write as freely as I did last year.

A part of me is frustrated with the tardiness and the casualness of this city, but a part of me knows that is what keeps it liveable, that there is still something more than this game we play. The simple pleasures have almost, fortunately, remained simple.

I sit across from my friend and have coffee with him, and we talk about how we both seem to be living slower than we ought to at this age. And I nod in agreement.

“Yes, I think I might try to go out if I feel things get too slow here”, but then, I realise what a week did for my writing, how it clouded my view of the world, and I pause and then say, “I couldn’t be too sure though. I can never be too sure of anything.”

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