I moved to Bangalore a few years ago. I enrolled myself into a course and decided that it would be ‘a good thing’ for me. The day I came here for the long haul, I had about nine suitcases and bags, and a thousand dreams- as per cliché. As the day wore on, I became wretched. I told myself that whatever happens, as my folks leave me to stay alone in this strange new city, I would be strong and not cry. I just won’t.
I did. Torrential outpouring resulting from a confused blend of the fear of the future mixed with the moving on from the past and the tummy ache from the water which was, sadly, my now. I couldn’t wait to finish my studies as soon as possible and go back to the city I knew. It’s been a long time since that day. It certainly seems like it because of how much I grew up.
I’m going to go straight out and say it. I love the city. Sure – I haggle with the auto guys and I crib about the traffic. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. When you love something fiercely, you may get mad at it, you may leave it and you may cry over it and whine, but you come right back. And it embraces you with a big bone crushing bear hug. You know you’re home.
I thought about why I love this city. Why does anyone love any place? Is it the weather? Is it the people? Is it the aesthetic beauty? The urban-ness? The food? The heritage? Yes, maybe. But a lot of cities do, don’t they? Why the attachment?
It’s what the city gives you. It gave me peace. I’m not the monk who sold his Ferrari yet (considering I’m a her and have no Ferrari yet, to my knowledge), but it gave me freedom and space. It gave me a chance to meet so many people like and unlike me, not to mention my first drinking experience. It gave me so many of my friends, and it gave me a chance to find myself. It gave me a chance. Period.
This is not going to be one those brochures with bright and glossy pictures that make you sit up and say, I have to visit this place before I die! This is an honest admission and acceptance of my love for a city, whose citizen I’ve without even knowing quite how, become. Like people famously say- it just happened. Really.
There’s a huge difference between being a traveller and a citizen of a place. When you’re a citizen, you become like family- you know there are some things not-so-right and yet, you know exactly what’s special. You know the little things. You’ve been there through it all. You’ve seen unexpectedly bright days as well as gloomy ones, and you’ve treasured it all.
I guess what I’m saying, is that like you, I belong here.
(Image from silvertalkies.com. Check out aPaulogy art gallery)