I am on a train now. And when not seeing the vast green and/or brown wilderness that is the Indian country side, I am feasting on this:
The current me looking out of the window like a pensive-as-fuck ‘traveller’ is vastly different in comparison to the I scrambling to get to the train on time, about 30 mins ago. The rush had its tense moments, and haggling with the station porter was uncharacteristically short and amicable. Perhaps, both of us understood the urgency of the situation and decided that money was of second-order importance when compared to me reaching my train. Another good thing about a rushed exit from anywhere is the near-zero possibility of having an emotional farewell. So, while my last minutes in Delhi were spent surrounded by extremely dear friends, it was mostly us catching our breath, punctuated by conversations about how deep in debt I was. (I am shit deep in debt though. While experts differ on the exact amount, there is universal consensus on the figure running into very many thousands). So that was my evening : rushing into a station with a lot of bags, with no time to cry or even feel sad, and acutely aware of the squeaky sound made by my extremely drenched shoes.
My shoes are very drenched. That is because today Delhi decided to let the rains fall like never before. I am serious! Today was probably the heaviest I have seen it rain, in two years! And given that Delhi, as a city, can’t deal with over 10 mins of continuous rain, or a woman walking on the street, or a woman, or over 5 mins of rain, getting out of the house on a bike wasn’t the wisest idea. But get out I did, for there were goodbyes to be said, both physical and mechanical. The person and machine will be sorely missed, and the memories associated with both will just make life worse. But at least I am glad I made the trip today morning, since I could say goodbye to at least some people who missed my farewell party.
My farewell party was more feels, less action. But it was wonderful to see people who gave enough fucks to bother organizing it, and even more people who thought it worth their time to come for it. Just to say goodbye! I still can’t believe it. All these people! And this is not including the ones who couldn’t make it, called to wish, and also apologize! I am not being facetious. I have rarely had occasions to celebrate, rarelyier have the celebrations been public events, and rarelyierest has been the event attended by more than 10 people. So this was most impressive. I should never give speeches though. I think my silence in such situations would be a welcome gift to all present. Haha. Gift to all present. Lulz
I have already spoken elsewhere about how I feel about gifts. But I received far too many of them this time to even begin to protest. Some were written, some ordered, some drawn, and some were simply too studly to manifest themselves in any other form than the physical presence of the people itself. Apart from being extremely thoughtful, I am ecstatic about how little all the gifts weigh. I am quite inclined, for the first time, have a wall. My own wall, bearing testimony to creations of the past, to serve as a constant reminder of old friends. It is also fantastic Instagram material.
I am extremely sleepy now and will end soon. But I wish you could have been here during my last 10 days. To see me clear my house, pack everything and move into a loving but a not-mine place, to watch me shift awkwardly as friends made sweeping claims about love and missing me, and hugging them to manage the situation but not particularly feeling anything. To see my last 5 days in the city, 5 days of unemployment, 5 days of rushing to squeeze in as much time, and as many meetings as possible. To see me exhausted with the number of people I ‘absolutely’ had to meet, while being secretly grateful about the claims these individuals could make upon my time and attention. To sit thru the intense wide ranging discussions, late into the night, which invariably ended up in beer, video games and sleep. And not in that order.
Delhi for me will always be about the people I met. Barring them, I would see very little in the city which would appeal to me. The fact that my friend was eve teased two days ago, and another friend threatened with a knife does very little to improve my feelings about this place. For a very long time, I was worried about the fact that I didn’t experience particularly strong feelings about leaving this place. I was equally worried about a build-up of these feelings, and a potential outburst when it was least expected. Today was that day. Strangely, both feelings and the rains came down hard together. From early hours of the morning till late afternoon.
Mine stopped because of soup.
Rain, what’s your excuse?
Ps. I will proofread this on a computer. Typing on the phone is very annoying.