Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why do you smile that way? l never know if you’re judging me, absolving me or mocking me.

Delhi's like a lover I've had for nine straight years. A lover I've guarded extremely jealously. If I had a penny for every time I've gotten into a spat defending Delhi, I'd be cruising in a Bentley right about now. Okay, maybe not. But I would have had enough for an extravagantly sumptuous three-course meal. It's like the younger brother I never had, but fiercely defended.

But I've been bad, lately. Really, really bad. December last year saw me visiting Lucknow after an incredible 17 years. That's long, okay. That's so long that the only memory I had of having been there was of me walking the market streets with mom and realizing about 2 kilometers later that the woman holding my hand wasn't mom.

Yeaaaaaaah, about that. I was walking with a total stranger for 20 minutes and didn't have the slightest idea that something was wrong. Don't judge 4 year old me. 4 year old me was very easily distracted. Which reminds that I'm talking of Lucknow now. (Re)Discovering Lucknow was like finding a shoebox full of old pictures I thought I'd lost. Imagine a friend standing you up for a date. Then, imagine a friend from what seems like a long lost life turning up, a friend whose name you forgot, but filed away the face unconsciously because of the beautiful smile on that face. You see that smile, now a thousand times more brilliant and your heart leaps a little.

And you don't even know why.

But, Delhi, I'm not doing this to get back at you for all the nights I had to shake some pervert off my tail, or for the ones when I shouted myself hoarse bargaining for things to what they're really worth. I don't count the innumerable losses, some not so important, some that tore away a little bit of my heart with them. It's just that you're confusing me with your abrupt indifference. You haven't exactly turned away from me, but it's like you just wont look me in the eye.

I love you, Delhi, because of the nights you tended to my broken heart. The days you followed me with the your splendid summers, warming my insides just so.

I know this will pass, Delhi, don't let us fall slowly apart.