Monday, March 12, 2018

It's 5:30 am and I had to turn on the fan. I've been resisting turning it on for the past week, determined not to acknowledge that summer is here, sitting resentfully in the heat and willing myself into feeling cold, not hot. I couldn't sustain the fiction for very long. It is time.
Summers in Ahmedabad are a lot worse than the summers I've endured elsewhere, mainly because of the dust. The Mughal emperor Jehangir described Ahmedabad variously as Gardabad (the land of dust), Samumistan (the land of the pestilential wind), Bimaristan (the land of the ill), Zaqumzar (the thorn patch) and finally as Jahannumabad (the land of hell). He certainly visited here in the summer.

Just as I am about to leave it, I find myself developing an affection for this city. The people are brusque but kind, impatient but generous. I find that every pavement has a terracotta bowl which is filled with water regularly for street dogs. Yesterday, a man fell off his bike on the road before me. Before I could react, two autos and a car had stopped and their drivers were running to help him up. If I wish people "Good morning" though, they stare at me as if I am an alien. Every time I cross a road, I do so with my heart in my hand, praying that an impatient motorist doesn't run me over.

I've recently turned thirty, and I was lucky enough to get not one, but two birthday cakes, made especially for me, by people I love the most. One homemade birthday cake is incredible, two scare me. How did I get so lucky? Dare I get used to this? Is it possible to get them to make a chocolate one next year?

I find as I grow older though, that I have less anxiety, as does everyone, I suppose. The wonderful thing about age is that you have fewer fucks to give in general, because you realise that fucks are limited. I've been counting out my fucks every evening, like a paymaster would with a daily labourer. Losing out on a job I worked to get? Half a fuck, on loan, to be returned in the morning with interest. What to make for dinner? Two fucks, make it special. How much I weigh? Zero fucks and deposit one please, there's a loan here from your past that needs to be repaid. I was profilgate with fucks when I was younger. The mean thing someone said to me that once would've sent me into a spiral of self doubt? No way am I paying out fucks for that today. I'm not running a charity here. You're paid a living wage, aren't you? Specialise in insecurity if you want to earn more.

*Okay, maybe the job was more like three fucks, but they still need to be returned in the morning. Onward and upward!

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