Myths and the City

I grew up with more cows and trees around me than automobiles and high rise buildings. No, I wasn’t the village girl with big dreams who came to live in the evil city and got trapped in the big city ways. Far from it! I grew up in a small town. But thanks to great parents I guess I wasn’t in want of anything. I got great education, exposed to the best of everything, globe trotted to the best of places and maybe had more than my share of things than even kids of big cities. But I still did see more cows and trees than other things.

I spent the formative years of my life growing up in the most magical and ethereal place I have ever been to. After having seen almost the whole of the rest of the world, there is still no other place that takes my breath away than my home town. The Ghats, the plains, the sea, the paddy fields; the sheer beauty of it all always manages to leave me with sharp intakes of breath. And the people of the town; I think Tamilians are the kindest and nicest people on earth; always willing to lend a helping hand, no ego, no clashes; just genuine ‘niceness’ that is so wanting in the world we live in today.

And then life took turns that led me to the city. Chennai for my under graduation,  Pune for my post graduation and now Bangalore (or should I say Bengaluru to avoid the Ram Sena from declaring me a terrorist?) for work and a new phase of life. Cities bring with them their own share of joy and chaos.

I love the city life. I love the fast pace, the ability to be able to disappear amongst the crowd, the luxury of having amenities around, the fact that I can walk out for a movie at a comfortable theatre or shop for groceries in hypermarkets; the benefits are definitely an upside.

The chaos is the downside. The traffic, the smoke, the rude auto guys who have that inane ability to spoil your mornings with their conniving acts to con you of money, the dirt and garbage on the roads, the fact that greenery means small miniscule patches in the middle of all the grey smog which is pathetically referred to as ‘a garden’. And the space! I sometimes look at the miniscule apartment of mine which I am so proud of and then the fact strikes me that my whole apartment is probably just a little bigger than my room back home!

But everything has its ups and downs right? And I look at my life and see how I am so lucky to have the best (and the worst) of both the worlds. I live in a city, I can take all the breaks I want in a small town. SO I have my share of high rise buildings and Mc Donalds and also the cows and the sea. So city life vs small town life. Don’t ask which is better. Because I have both and I love it!

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My Song

Everyone has a favorite song. One that keeps ringing in your head, one that you find yourself humming when you wake up or take a shower or feel happy or feel sad. One that seems to make perfect sense to you. One that you find yourself going back to, to help you through crisis. My favorite song is ‘November Rain’ by GNR. To say I love the song would be to put it very mildly. I love everything about the song; the beautiful lyrics, the unusual melody, the way it is crooned, the music arrangement, the emotions behind it, the video, the fact that it is by my favorite band, basically everything. But most of all I love the lyrics.

To me the song stays true to what it says in every way. That it is a lament of a kind, a sad love song about a man in love with a woman who is in love with his best friend. A song about a man who starts talking about how he loves this woman so much that even though he knows her loving him back is impossible he still looks for that little ray of hope in all the darkness. A song about a man who finally loses his woman to her own turmoil and suicide. The song is so cruelly sad, that it becomes strikingly beautiful. The way it unfolds is sheer poetry; the fact that it is centered around an inauspicious start because he is marrying someone not in love with him, ironically in November when the rain is considered acidic and not a good start for a life together, that he keeps saying that even November rain can’t last forever which subtly conveys his hope that bad times can’t stretch on forever. I love the way Slash is weaved in so ingeniously into the story, just giving one a glimpse of the whole complicated triangle, showing only snatches of what he is probably going through as well. The human emotions attached to this song; love, happiness, sadness, desperation, anguish, pain, betrayal, hope…it is all so artistically intertwined.

The lines that speak to me most about the song are, “And when your fears subside and shadows still remain. I know that you can love me, when there is no one left to blame”. These lines show love that is so unconditional, so unrestrained; a love that I wish I could experience. A man who is willing to wait around, who is so much in love that he doesn’t mind what’s happening, who is just around hoping to have her love him back. Is love like this possible?

So I close my eyes and hope that I will experience this sheer love one day. To be loved so much that they will wait, to be loved unrestrained, to be needed, to be wanted, to be loved unconditionally, to be loved without expectations, without boundaries. Who out there is lucky enough to be loved that way? Tell me your love story…