Over the weekend after what felt like aeons, I finally managed to have a conversation on things that truly moved me and have always had me thinking. Without burdening you with the details, I was yet again pushed in to a corner, albeit after many months, to defend the pride of Chennai. While that is something I take very seriously, it reminded me of a quiet little street in Chennai right next to a cafe I continue to day dream of. I remember standing on that street whenever we used to leave that café for a few minutes longer while my friends would be figuring out our next move on a lazy Sunday or after a rather charged conversation. I would just stand and stare at this three storeyed building. It would fill me with great joy, always. Also, a sense of resolution. I always knew for sure that Chennai was where I would settle. And somehow, this building, marked this very resolution of mine. Of this belief that I would find a house in it, and I would make it my home. It is in these moments of casual wonder when the confluence of a dream and hope meet. My hope was to finally settle, to stop moving and searching and to quit it all and stick to one gear.
So it took me a weekend at another place I call home to realise that discovering my need for what I will call Home is imperative. It may come to me after many years and maybe in constant strife is where I shall find my balance for now. But that street reminds me of equilibrium, of being at peace with myself. I’m also reminded of the snow on that peak at MacLeodganj, the rooftop pub in Singapore, the dosa and coffee at Mylai Coffee House in Chennai, Froth on Top in Mangalore. All places where I wanted time to stop and never let the clock to continue. I can actually breathe that air, smell that coffee and feel those places at a whim. It doesn’t take a moment’s thought to go right back to those places. In my desperate search for a home, many of those very moments have become little bricks of what I have created as a roof in my head.
Sometimes I wonder if there is any sense in nostalgia and memories that seemingly cripple you and therefore I force myself to steer clear of them. I bury myself under mountains of expectations that I create for myself and I continue adding weight to them as I feel the smallest amount escape from above. It is in the consistency of distraction that I manage to operate at my best. But every once in a while, I face a moment of absolute calm, far away from those expectations while I’m sitting right in the middle of them and I return to a place of my choice. It excites me, inspires me and even depresses me at times but it always makes me come alive, briefly, yet significantly. You know how you feel it in your bones, that sensation of completeness. That is what that street reminds me of along with a million other places in that city. And, somehow, even after getting the Ghostbusters (forced exaggeration) to get every moment of that city behind me, it still manages to return strong. Strong as that cup of coffee I used to have at Mylai that allowed me to go into what was my quiet place back then.
You know that feeling? When you know it in your bones..