It’s halfway through 2019. But you left your heart somewhere in late 90s, early 2000s, when you didn’t know how things worked.
Standing in the middle of a segregated wedding where women laugh a second too openly, and walk around a bit too comfortably, there are things you love and things you hate. Things that have long become contradictions. Old wedding songs that you’ve seen your cousins dance to all your life are playing again. You smile, because it has so much baggage–of cousin weddings, of accidentally plopping one of your feet in the mud in a dark street full of strangers, of little children you became friends with until they left one day and of forgotten memories that rush through when old Bollywood wedding songs play in the background.
You’re back in the city where your heart has always been, even though they don’t take care of it anymore. You hate it for the streets that have become narrower, the winds that have calmed down; but as you drive around the empty roads past midnight when even the farthest places in the city fall 5 minutes away like you’ve always known them to be, your heart comes back to its place.
You’re back in the city with all your old friends and memories and you don’t want to admit it but it’s painful. Painful that you have to grow up, painful that you have to leave one day, painful that everything eventually comes back to leaving people and places and songs and happiness that you grew up with. So when you look at your friend, donned in red and gold, her parents both happy and sad in the midst of dancing women and fireworks and confetti and songs in your mother-tongue that make you want to dance and laugh, even though you don’t know all the lyrics; you want the time to stop ticking. Because it’s been too much; you’ve grown too old and too scared. ‘Scattered’ is the word that now scares you. Scattered homes, scattered friends, scattered places where you left pieces of your heart. So you try to collect all the memories of things you have loved about this city. It’s not the same city that you once grew up in, but it has the footprints of everything you’ve been through.
(Picture courtesy: OMG moods)