A Vagabond State of Mind

5 days back, I packed my bags and my life in a bunch of suitcases again as I prepared for my one-way ticket back to India. Another house scrubbed back to its original state! A beautiful studio apartment I had spent 3 weeks to find and waited another 40 days to move into. It is only ironic how before I left, I showed the city to my brother. I shared with him the places which were my favourite hangouts, and cultural quirks, the notes which were handed me down by the veterans of the city I made friends with; hand-me-down information, I had made mental notes of.

It was like disassembling my life, pulling apart some memories, and visiting places, one last time; just opposite to the way I assembled it. In the end, you mostly know the parts you will miss, as you come to terms that you will move to a new part of the world, and try to put it together all over again, and maybe recreate some old ones. The way you try out 5 different cafes before you settle on one where everything is just right, your go-to route for the late evening runs and your go-to people for whine and wine Fridays.

In someways, I also carry things I picked with me, the random filler word that has slyly entered my vocabulary - "Can Can". A new favorite burger - Crispy Buttermilk Chicken and whole bunch of nuances shared by people.

I've moved enough to know I can't carry it all with me, and that most friends and friends formed in the context of place and time, and they will fade into a background till that space and hands of time are put together by fate.

They packed my house in 2 hours, the home I put together in over 3 months and 5 days.

In an empty house, I lay on my couch, overlooked a rainy Singapore, and took my last cigarette break. Wiped a single tear as I prepared to close this chapter and turn the page. “Atleast, I know the parts I won't miss” — I snigger and remind myself of greener pasteurs that wait for me to graze.

In a way, you know you have to go through, what you have to go through, but nothing makes you feel more alone than that moment of going through, when you can't share it with anyone. All shared memories of the town to be wrapped up and put in a suitcase. Non-linear. A creeping solitude that can turn very much into a great haunting, if I'm not careful. Nothing makes me feel more alone.

And even though, parts of me know that it's a matter of time, and I will be alright, I often wonder if all these changes make me grip everything more tightly, or remain in this disassociated state, where it's hard to reach.

5 cities in 7 years. A vagabond state of mind.


I close this post with one snippet from "Letters to a Young Poet":

"So dear Mr. Kappus, do not be afraid when a sorrow as great as any you've known seems about to engulf you, casting its shadow all over you do. Remember, when you fear what might befall, that Life has not abandoned you, that it is holding you, and out of its web you cannot fall— why would you exclude from your existence any unrest, any pain, any heaviness? For you don't know yet how these will shape you.


So much is happening within you, dear Mr. Kappus, you must be as patient as an inavlid and as confident as a convalescent for perhaps you are both. And more: you are also the doctor who has to look after yourself. But there are, in every illness, days when the doctor can do a little more than wait. And this is what you, as your own physician, must do above all.

Don't examine yourself too much. Don't jump so swiftly to conclusions about what is happening to you. Just let it happen"


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