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It’s not something I do often but living alone in a city where I have only a few friends, and an acclaimed play comes to town, one must take oneself to the theatre.

To watch a play is to lose oneself in a different narrative, in a reality separate from you, in actor’s voices, lights, costumes.  It is to dive into a world that is driven by someone else’s design, and you simply float along. Your reflections will come later– in the break, walking out after it’s over, in the cab, or on the walk home. Ideally, there would be a drink, and post-theatre dinner (when in India), to talk about all that happened, all that could be, the metaphors, the meanings, the obvious mistakes, and the points of pure exhilaration.

The theatre isn’t a solitary activity, but for now, it’ll have to do.

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Two months

It’s been two months now. Two months of packing, unpacking, repacking. Two months of goodbyes, hellos, see-you-soon. Two months of adjustments, and re-adjustments. Two months of stories, and introductions. Two months of being in transit, two months of not know where one belongs, and two months of belonging in many places at once.

Two months of airports and train stations, of bucket lists, of long emails, and short messages. Two months of catching up, two months of talking non-stop and two months of silence.

Two months of too much. Two months that promise so much. Two months. It’s only been two months.

Comfort

Comfort is a familiar song. Comfort is consistency. It is knowing something will be exactly how you anticipated– your recipe for maggi, the effect of a song, the texture of a beloved sweater.

But comfort is constructed. It’s about finding your favourite chair, a new preferred mug, a differently brewed coffee.  It is finding one’s way around town, a grocery store, a new “local”. It is calling old friends, forging new routines. It isn’t immediate, but one hopes it is possible.

Many Homes

The idea of home has never been singular, what with quick forming attachments and leaving bits of my heart scattered around the world. One must be grateful for rich experiences, learnings, memories and the possibilities of return. Home has been gorgeous apartments, hotel rooms, hostel beds, quiet corner in parks, and very often now, a bit of web space. Home is on my camera, scribbled in my notebook, on my phone, and, of course, in my mind.

Over the last few days, I’ve been in the process of saying goodbye. Goodbye to friends, to cities, museums, shops, restaurants, and to the many places I think of as home. Between tears and laughing spells, I feel comforted knowing there are many homes.

To say goodbye isn’t as bad when you know you can always come back, and there will be a warm bed, a hot shower, a drink, and most importantly, familiar friendly faces to welcome you and make you feel at home.

Goodbye and All That

We’ve known each other for less than a year, yet what a year it has been. From late night fun to frustrated afternoons of essay writing, we’ve come a long way.  Pizzas, favourite walks,  birthday parties, preferred bars and specific snacks too! The city is dotted with our stories now, and soon only a few of us will stay back. Will we see each other again? Write, call, tag on instagram?

It’s nice to live in a world that is so connected, but I’m going to miss living across from friends, impromptu nightcaps, walking to the libs, or school, doing a shop, or just, you know, hanging out.

My new friends made me a happier, better person, and strangely younger person. I came slightly jaded, terribly cynical, and I return seven kilos heavier, but infinitely lighter in spirit. I’m going to miss you all.

Winding up.

My prayer flags have been pulled off the window. The soft board is now blank. I’ve taken down my fairy lights. The shelves are being emptied, and I am, well, really glum.

A year flew by, but I feel like I just got here.

My heart is breaking, and there isn’t a thing to do. Only goodbyes, weighing of stuff, packing. There are things to be given away– things that have been loved. My things, that won’t be mine anymore.

Acknowledgements

When she said the acknowledgements were the nicest part of my dissertation, my heart sank but I know it was true. The cloak of academic restraint had dropped, as had any pretence of being critical. It was me, my voice, my words, saying thanks to only a fraction of people who’d helped me along the way to write a dissertation. It suddenly feels like a small work, not the massive project it felt like till yesterday. Friends are onto bigger things, better projects, fun ideas and such.

But my mind has strayed back to the acknowledgements: a part I never skip. Acknowledgements are personal. They’re genuine, they reveal something about the writer that the whole book will now. Acknowledgements are personal.

Who are you? What do you value? Who helped you along? Did you drink tea as you wrote? Did you need to hide? Did you need your hand to be held? Did you travel?

Acknowledgements will tell me if I like you, as a person, as a human. They’re the nicest parts of most books.