Hey Sweetheart – II

Love is a wondrous thing.

A few days ago, a post that I wrote about my first love caused mayhem on my page view statistics. Thanks is due where thanks is due. It almost reminds me of the Sensex – one moment you are happy with the averageness of an investment going well and a sudden bullish run excites you. As a keen follower you even know that it will peak and trough at whim. The run continues – breaking every tenet that you believed in. It crosses the limits you have known and imagined. What use, however, this bullish run for an investment that you don’t intend to cash-out?

Every city in this world is like that.

Swiss Re

Just when you start believing that you know the city, it will ever so slightly present you with that one look that will mesmerise you with a psychedelic flash you have never known before.

London is a speaking city.

It has made it to the list of my only three cities in the world. It has now begin teasing me. I see its naughty smile every time it presents one of its new faces. I smile back, part sheepishly, part enjoying it. And, it doesn’t need a time and place to do that. On the platform, in the underground tunnels, on its colourful happy streets, over its many bridges over the river. Through transparent odd-shaped glass buildings. Every corner and street and shop and building has a story. Some are hushed, some are old, some are new.

I found a way to talk to London. It was a bit difficult in the initial days – I was still learning the language. I am now fluent. It is much more fun, now. December 12th, without warning, while walking towards my tube, in Victoria, I heard it loud and clear. It was the sweet voice of knowing. The friendly warmth of bear-hug. Wordless expression of affection. You’d think, if my eyes hadn’t swelled, I might have just missed it in the din of the isolating iPod tentacles in my ears. But, no, this voice doesn’t need ears, it needs a heart in love. You could ask me to do a reality check and ask if I am really talking of my love for the winter, the treacherous icy pavements, the chance to wear overcoats and wool, the microscopic icicles melting after laboured breathing. But I love London in the winter, I love it in the summer. I love it all twelve months of the year. Not even the done-to-death-grey-clouds do me in. The rain – I hate it anywhere.

I felt no pang when I left Mumbai one January morning two years ago. I know now – I will not feel it when I leave London.

This is my City.

When you know that a city belongs to you, staying or leaving is irrelevant.

You carry the city in your heart. Some of you who have read my post about Mumbai, may be amused to think that I have an exceptionally massive heart to carry two cities (amongst other things) in it. In an inexplicable way, it is the other way round.

Yet, I carry the city in my heart. It lives in my soul.

PS: Some people who know me and my life more than some of you, may be tempted to derive and construct an apparently obvious meaning of this post. Don’t. PPS: Part 1 happened here.


14 thoughts on “Hey Sweetheart – II

  1. you want to belong and hence find the love for it. i have been in many cities over the years trying to adjust my consciousness to the pulse of the city. like the search for love, we fail. but we part, amicably. and then move on to find someone interesting.

    we love, we hate, we love and then we hate again. and even as we start fighting the next time, we realise we are in love.

    it is the desire to be accepted that makes us love a place. and the only one we want to prove it to, is ourselves. well, mostly.


  2. Pingback: Hey, Sweetheart! « Gaizabonts
  3. ==EU:
    You bet! I do @ enjoy the warmth. And yes, it is an amazing feeling. πŸ™‚


    i have been amply repulsed by a few places, even if i wanted to belong. i don’t know what it is. i know however, i can’t do justice to your comment in a comment.


  4. i started off as an ardent amdawadi.. i rated the city to be better than any other, i mean, Pune didnt stand a chance next to Ahmedabad, Mumbai I simply didnt even bother comparing… but it’s surprising how in the past 2 years, my take on other cities has taken a sea-change… though i still keep ahmedabad on a pedestal, Kolkata is now too dear to me, and Pune has also left me beautiful memories..

    Was good going thru the detached take of passion with regards to London and Mumbai in this post.. U r right, in many ways, you carry a city in ur heart, and not the other way round…


  5. ==Gauri:

    Interestingly, Pune owns some of my best memories (college, graduation, and first job), yet it never figures any where in my favourite cities. I don’t hate it, it just isnt there. Ahmedabad, unfortunately, I have only transited through, never been in the city. Folks who may read this comment may come back to me extolling the virtues of Pune (weather, cleanliness, etc), but for me, it is not enough that a city is “well-behaved” for me to be able to love it.

    It is not just about you liking the city, even the city has to like you.

    True love, perhaps, doesn’t judge…


  6. I stumbled upon this blog by accident. And what say? Cities was a topic of discussions with a friend only a week ago, when I said, all cities seem same to me these days.

    What makes up cities?
    Buildings, Roads?
    People, Company?
    Trams, Trains, Rikshaws, Bullokcarts?
    Collective memory?
    Love, Hate?
    Chemistry, Physics, Stats, Geography?
    Or simply chemical recations in brain?


  7. ==Jarvarm:

    Hmm. I’ll think about what that smile means!

    Welcome to Gaizabonts!

    I think I know what you meant when you said all cities are the same. In the days to come, it will be more so. Social dogma and modelling a city on another will be the cause.

    Of your list, I guess I’d include people and collective memory to the primary contributors. People who are lovers, i.e.


  8. Pune and well-behaved? Give me a break.. Puneris are one of the most curt, sharp tongued and over smart people around.. πŸ˜€

    And i experienced the heights of the ‘notice board’ culture staying in the peth.. while i hated it when i was there, i sorely miss the people and their ways now. infact, the same reasons i bitched abt pune now supplement the sweet memories and laughter when i remember the time i spent in Pune..

    I became more accepting of sarcasm,unending intellect (read well-read, highly opinionated intellent people) after i stayed in Pune. I simply love Pune though it happens to be one of the worst cities i have been to. I mean it!


  9. ==Gauri:
    Couldn’t agree more @ Pune. What I meant @ well-behaved was the “model” city (sans people), you know – weather, cleanliness and all.

    Personally, I have a lot of reasons (is also my birthplace) to settle down in Pune. Just can’t get myself – even to think about it!

    In the sense of how you talk about the people, perhaps, it is people who “make” the city? They lend their averaged characteristics to the city. Yet somehow, there is always more, something else…

    “I simply love Pune though it happens to be one of the worst cities i have been to. I mean it!”

    Loved it!!! πŸ™‚


  10. Pingback: Capital Schizophrenia | Gaizabonts

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