So I don't miss Dilli. I see my erstwhile flat mate discovering stuff and feeling comfy. I had that phase. Dilli has exhausted my curiosity.
Whereas Calcuttta, whether out of nostalgia or habit, has so many things that are just so...Calcuttan. Like the newly painted concrete Lion holding football beneath forepaw on top of a decrepit and non descript entrance. Maybe I'm romanticising. I don't know. Haven't been to Park Street Cemetery yet. I haven't explored Calcutta like Dilli. No Time OUt guide here. Plus, pride about knowing by city (which BS as on the day I discovered the synagogues).
All around me bad things keep happening. Such as a friend losing her father. But some respite occasionally. Such as meeting Kali and Lalu (and Elvis) after sooo long. Felt very guilty for not having food on me. Poor Shuji. Moving out of the goli and now no more. Lalu was so happy so exuberant and whiny and jumpy and head-rubby. And Kali actually ran upto me and wagged tail incessantly. Which is like writing the whole series of poems dedicated to Maude Gonne in her [Kali's] world.
It seems Calcutta is celebrating Shab-e-Barat today as opposed to yesterday (as seen in Howrah). People on Anwar Shah are dressed in their best and the Tipu Sultan Mosque is bedecked with light and the homeless are getting bhaat and labra in terracotta malshas. And of course the illegal noisy crackers.
I feel kind of vague and insignificant. Worse than a flaneur. Almost wispy. Like someday I'll vanish in a puff of smoke. My main anchor in this city (and a mainstay in life) is away. Until the 31st. I feel vague dissatisfactions and vague appetites and vague desires. I realise how I cannot be around sane people for too long. I infect them with this disease of pessimism, bitterness, and confusion. And most of the time I want to be away from myself. Not be aware of a self. And only today on the walk back home I realised that that's what I did the last years of university when I incessantly watched films. And that's what I'm doing now by incessantly reading books.
I remember this dialogue (probably the character was trying to be clever) from Before Sunrise about wanting escape from oneself, of being so tired of oneself because one has never been away from oneself: never been in a kiss in which wasn't participating and so on. Losing oneself is good, then? In what exactly I wonder. In cocaine? In relentless devouring of books films? In hard physical labour? In looking through a lens? In mastering something?
Sometimes I feel so tired. Everything seems a charade. something to distract yourself wit for two months or six. And always, always the glass palace comes crashing down. Everything you invent to be away from yourself is after all just as fragile as the butterfly's wings, as transient as the rainbow reflection on a soap bubble.
Look at me waxing eloquent. Trying to create some illusion, some semblance of 'sense' in this utter chaos. Where random chances bring illusory happiness and permanent losses and both scar you, mark you, warp you. And you begin to recover and start playing at this game all over again.
Soon, soon to fresh pastures. Goodnight and good luck to me.