along corners of buildings, in shadows of crowded streets, as red lights turn to green, people hurry. a broken button, a stolen purse, a fallen slipper, forgotten books, the city gathers these like a magpie. it picks up distractions, expressions on faces just before laughter, lingering smells of the tired and the melancholic. obviously, cities can tell quite the story.

the familiar know the inviting lights of marketplaces, the fading greys of oft used roads, the sound of snores on busy afternoons. and i, i am but the enraptured audience of a master story-teller. i watch hagglers of prices of cloth, their tricks and counter-tricks, like a game of chess between two best friends always playing the same first moves. children crossing roads with habitual precision, fruit vendors on roads or people sitting on park benches, reading the newspaper. nothing puts them off, not even the rain.

when everything is new, there is no guilt in loneliness. for amusement, i walk old streets with older stories, i sit by myself in coffee shops to read magazines, i scout bookstores whose every book the owners know, in cinemas i look at people's faces instead. as souvenirs, i collect evidences of stories. i wonder where couples come from in the trains, what worries line the child's face, whether the man in the tight jeans has had sex yet. i take pictures in my mind of pink houses with no doors, of homes in slums with air conditioners, of the woman sitting with big bags in the bus stop, of old people riding rickshaws on crowded streets.

the wind is but an old acquaintance. it carried a tune from times past - a gentle reminder of my own song, one that my heart once sang to me. new people in old cities, we always sing our songs carefully. if i could whistle, i would have done. i hum it instead hoping that my feet will follow. like nostalgia, the notes are made of warmth and gushing emotion that surely belong to some time else, having the edge of something completed.

in this city, my song has an awkward place.


("it's when you don't have content that you have a blog!" haha!
also, soumithri - notice, no dinosaurs.)

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