Funny how I moved to Delhi on mission, armed with William Darylymple’s City of Djinns, a map and little money; with one desire, to discover her. And funny, how four years later, I moved to Bangalore, without a map, a little more money, and without a book, with one desire, to let Delhi go…she is an unfathomable but necessary loss.
Bangalore is easier on me. I did not agonize over a house, and my first swim was not as frightening; I did not have to drag a boyfriend out of his work day to oversee me swim. The house-help is easier too. And, the flailing bus ride from Gurgaon into the city has been replaced with a swanky-cab I can afford!
Like everything that is easy, however, Bangalore is empty. There’s none of it, none of the tearing your hair out to make it work, and make the dal right, and bring the bread in the morning, and keep the lights on, and the cockroaches out, and the air-conditoners alive. And, yet Delhi was alive. Bangalore is grating. Her demeanour like her weather, predictable.
“Give everything six months,” my father always said to me. And in the day and night I celebrated six months in Bangalore; as the rain came down, and the moon came out, and the fire went up, I realize perhaps Bangalore is not grating. In the sweetness of the night, I realize that Bangalore is teaching me my biggest lesson yet, and perhaps the one I’ve needed most to learn…
In her stillness, I was finally learning to be still.