Old girl in the old city

As Manasi packs her bags, I'm almost as apprehensive as she is. The entire jazz about her not being around in the city is camouflaged by my fatigue of landing home 12 hours after I actually leave. While most would be concerned about the logistics of the move (place to stay, washing, food, money etc) I'm worried about her need of having any known face around. It could even be Mahadev, our eternal and never-to-be-fired dhobi.

She's so used to Mumbai, along with its sweaty, sweet, somewhat stale scents that when she doesn't enter a train on a regular basis, I think she's gonna have withdrawal symptoms. I hope she doesn't start spitting around the roads to make herself feel more at home.

Bangalore's not just dry- it's cold. And by cold I mean the kind in which you can't walk around barefoot in your house. In Mumbai you shouldn't, because dust settles here more often than winds blow and certainly more often than it's cleaned off the floor- but in Bangalore it's a physical impossibility to walk on marbled flooring in the evenings.

Her next big hurdle is getting people to like her. In denial about it, she's pretty convinced that while her first impression on most is terrible (and I can't differ there)- she makes up for it given a certain amount of time. Variable, but certain amount of time. Going there, one of the things I figured is that people don't really bother. Not about your first impression or your last. That's how South Indians are. Indifferent. Which doesn't mean she needs to go out of her way to ruin the impression bit, but darling don't bug yourself into anything. We've probably learnt this the hardest way- be yourself. Which means be your average take-shit-give-shit person.

About work. It's not like people haven't had first days ever- but Manasi's firsts are twice as dramatic as they should be allowed to be. So while she comes back from her first day of sincere application of her asocial skills and some work, I'll probably be in a state to collapse. Yes, I'll call to find out- but no, don't give me "arre kya, it was so ordinary" answer. Darling, you're gonna have to work, out of choice or chance- so make the best of it by the icing we all thank Shriya for coining as Nain Sukh Praapti. Look around. Kannadigas aren't THAT disappointing.

Please, get two mirrors for facing walls wherever you put up. On days you don't have much to do, you can sit for hours and do and redo and undo your hair or what's left of it.

Life will be different, very different. I suppose only time will tell whether or not it'll be the good different or the bad. Yes, I'm gonna miss you the minute you leave the building. It's this dread I have. All the time. Our gang of 8 had 5 left, and now with 3- it'll be somehow way too sparse for me to believe. There's a huge, empty void in the (seemingly endless) pit of my stomach. Sometimes I think about it and feel like someone cut my thumb off. I wish I could tell you about it.

But it isn't about me. I have Coll and Shri. It's you I'm worried about.

So yeah, unsolicited advice from the eternal inexperienced Yoda.

Don't be afraid of pinning your hopes on anyone or anything.

Believe in things, and let them shatter you sometimes. It's the masochist fun of picking ourselves back up and grinning into the mirror after we're done that leaves us stronger.

Go wrong sometimes, in the decisions that affect you. How'll you know what's good otherwise?

Be irrational. See how far you can go into being me. Then, if things begin to get out of control- which they never fully will- call up and we'll see how much I can be you.

Every new place gives us a new face. You may not recognise the person you've become there. But it's still you- embrace it. Never forget- home is where you are, not where you are longest.

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