Friday, October 1, 2010
As a kid, when I was asked who I want to be, I am told that I replied, "Why can't I just be a girl?" You can't be a Capricorn and not be wise, can you?
Years later, as a Postgrad student of Psychology at the Delhi University, sitting at the women's hostel canteen and waiting for a cup of coffee, I had nodded in agreement to something similar. "Don't you think what we've studied so far is just helping us realise what we already knew? It doesn't seem like being bombarded with new information. Is that learning? Are we really wise souls?"
I don't know.
But I do believe that when I come across the roads in Delhi (or anywhere else) named after people who lived a long time and more often than not didn't affect my life, I don't feel awestruck. I don't believe I imbibed the qualities of Mahatma Gandhi because I walked down M.G. Road or that I would go back home and Google Rao Tularam or Benito Juarez or hell, even Aurangzeb. I don't believe I mourn when I chance upon "Tees January Marg" or that one is supposed to take that lane only on the 30th of January every year either! (Don't get me started on what a waste of money building that road would have been!)
It's not the road less travelled. It's not even the road not taken. Sorry, bestsellers.
I am in a zone where I have begun to believe that I am inside the story of Hansel and Gretel. I am in a crazy trip inside the jungle, leaving breadcrumbs behind to mark the trail. Sadly, when I look back, they are gone. And I can't go back.
There's always a way of believing that I don't need to go back. And most of the time, between teaching and reading and BRT and Chicken Masala and tea and coffee, I can bring myself to care about how Ted Mosby met his wife. But then when I leave my residence and look at the blue watering can on my neighbour's windowsill or spot the shadow of an eagle gliding across the tall, looming trees on the roadside, or when I remember the orange Lamborghini that used to speed past my erstwhile kingdom on Lodhi Road, I realise with a shock how time is passing me by.
Despicable me! Yes, I did go and watch the movie for the sheer delight of listening to Jason Segel lend his voice to Vector, the supervillain and yes, I cherished every moment in those luxurious seats as Mom and I sat back, the only audience at 10:25am on a Friday. And yes, it felt good when Cinnabon caught my eye.
But why is it that I feel depressed all over again? Why is it that even the thought of re-bonding my hair at last doesn't leave me with any fuzzy, pink warmth? Where's my fairy tale? And if this is it, why doesn't it feel like one? Was Prince Charming special only because he came from a kingdom far, far away? Like that Lamborghini or that watering can?
How far is far enough?
How far away do I need to go from Delhi and from my life here to call it a vacation? Am I sad because Delhi is gonna be crowded because of the Commonwealth Games?
Maybe I am. But wait. Don't call me "The Selfish Giant". I think I'm just sad because the universe has declared Delhi important for the next few days.
Do you see the flaw in the plan? "There's nowhere else to go."
This is me. For now. That's it. :(