“Where is your native?”

I think I’ll miss the weather the most.    

I did make some friends in this city, of course I did. All kinds of randos. Friends who made me fluffy little omeletts when I was unwell, or just because it was a Sunday morning, friends who’d discuss the intricacies of life and love with me as they fixed their hair in the mirror, friends who’d somehow always have an appetite for a fourth Jagerbomb…

And yet, I think I’ll miss the weather the most.

When it rains in Bangalore, the roads begin to sparkle. Everything suddenly goes HD. And sometimes, if you’re lucky to be in a place where you can look far off enough into the sky, you can see a rainbow. It lies there, inconspicuous, so aware of its beauty it’s almost trying to hide. You aren’t looking for it, but your eyes fall on it. And you feel this momentary surge of happiness within you before you forget about it and get on with your busy busy life.

So often we chance upon people in the same way.

I’ve grown to love the city. Its canopied roads and little cafés, its coconut water and filter coffee. People want to get to know you, here more than anywhere I’ve ever been. And at nightclubs there’s the added challenge of getting to know someone before the 11pm deadline, almost as if mum’s set a curfew just so you only build the bridges you’re destined to.

I love a city that appreciates art. There’s graffiti on the walls that line busy roads and Rangoli outside the courtyards of little white houses and phone numbers scribbled behind bus seats with descriptive diagrams of what they deliver, but how many of us actually stop to look? Art can be a lot to look at. There are love notes and doodles forgotten; only seen by those willing to look, singing a song heard by those willing to hear, the raindrops setting the tempo in the background more often than not, bringing a smile to my face almost as if they deliver blessings when they fall on my skin.

 We all start as strangers. But everyone knows strangers have the best candy.

 So I ventured out, the aspiring adult that I was, living through the people I met and the sights I saw, getting attached to everything that had a beating heart and a story to tell, oblivious to the permanence of the bonds I forged and  ignorant to the fact that you can’t make homes out of human beings.

When a person leaves his city to travel, he has experiences that change him to the very core, and so when he returns he doesn’t fit in, because he’s grown with those experiences. He’s part of a different puzzle now. “Where is your native?” people seem to want to know all the time. I don’t know. I don’t know if it matters.

It’s not the puzzle I’m a part of, this is.

 We find our happy in strange random things; oddly enough, and for reasons lost in time, karaoke was my strange random thing, even if it involved a raging dislike for girls who can wear crop tops and leggings and sit with their legs crossed on barstools.

Like seriously, what is up with that? How do your intestines and stuff fit inside that?

 Anyway, there’s something about people singing at the top of their voices, grinning as they fumble to rap fast enough, dancing and swaying to fill the gaps in lyrics; freestyling their own versions of classics we all know because life’s too short to be predictable, and at the end of the day, just like these mashed up songs, we’re all merged into each other’s consciousness. And even as I leave I know there’s a little bit of something you in everything me.

 That’s why I think I’ll miss the weather the most. It’s the only thing I’m leaving without.

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