I mean, look at that sky!

I’m rekindling my love affair with the city. Just like any romance, it feels terrifying, disorienting & sometimes overwhelming. I thought I knew this island for life, that its metamorphosing roads would never feel unfamiliar to me.

Then I find myself losing my way in places that have seen my childhood, my adolescence & youth. Memory kicks in late, with an actual kick to my brain. Don’t you remember Zigzag road leads to Carter road? Are you seeing Vileparle East for the first time like some bloody tourist? As if Versova just grew sand on the roads overnight.And shops have changed. There are heartaches at every corner, as a signboard swings over a plastic sheet-covered gala. Who needs horror stories when a single BMC tape can recall the nightmare of last year? And the memories lodged in cafes, street corners, has the virus erased them too? This spot where I stood talking about life & work with a friend as she smoked. That cafe where I played footsie with a sudden affection. This divider where a friend shot a picture of me, crossing but also embracing the sudden gust of sea breeze.

I’m so glad the sea is still there. I’m so thrilled to see the sky blue & orange in a different panorama from my window. I’m so happy when I hear a friend’s voice, even if it’s an apology for not taking calls all year. I’m so delirious that my city still lives. And I.

Reader, stranger, friend, dear friend, take heart. We’ll find our way to living again.

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