Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Night and day

Hello Reader! I've missed you! It is warm in Chennai; a sweaty, sticky warmth like a very close hug, where if you take a deep breath, you can smell the unique smell of the city. I stepped into that embrace just about a month ago, and it was comforting after the icicle that was Delhi. It smells of the sea here, and in the evenings, when the jasmine buds open, they add their own heady perfume. It smells of the ghee frying dosas on a thousand stoves each morning, mixed with the incense burning in the temple down the street.

I watched the Republic Day parade this morning, and felt proud. It was very nice to watch it on telly, on a balmy Chennai morning, sunk deep into a sofa. It was very easy to feel patriotic. I had planned to attend the parade, but well, I had to move to Chennai. I remember the night I walked down Rajpath alone. It was lit here and there by gaunt, gloomy looking streetlights and the papads a seller was waving at me looked ghostly. There was only one man selling soap solution; he would blow through a tiny loop, surrounding me with bubbles that burst as they touched me. There were many people there, wearing devil's horn hairbands that glowed redly in the dark. I stood at the Amar Jawan Jyoti and wondered what it felt like to actually give your life for your country, not just talk about it.

That road was busy today, ringing with the sound of a thousand marching boots. And I watched and sank deeper into the comfort of my sofa.

1 comment:

  1. Very well said. It is easy to feel patriotic in the comfort of a Sofa, and difficult to imagine the wanton squandering of one’s young life for an abstract cause. The soap bubbles and the lighted Devil’s horns paint their images in the minds eye to prepare the reader for subtext in the last line.
    Well written.