Somehow walking alone on a chilly evening in Delhi has an irresistible charm to it, unmatched even by the prospect of the company of a lover. The slightly smoky night stirs the brain into restless excitement of your own person. I feel like I own the streets. Walking back home in a black Disneyland hoodie, the sleeves pulled up a little, one hand in the pocket and another swinging freely. Walking with a bounce in each step. Actually laughing at some joke I remembered. Suddenly conscious of how stupid I might look to others, but then laughing that thought off. The others? I own this street!
I did feel certain inquiring glances pass my way. I looked too geeky to have any unwanted admirers. The gazes just made me laugh harder. I saw them through glazed eyes, as a king would do, noticing but not too nicely.
And suddenly this car goes by, playing a tune so mellow it stuck. Then I started humming it all along. Closing my eyes for brief moments, as much as I dared so as not to get hit by a car. Humming and playing with my hair as the tune from Shah Rukh’s movie woke the romanticist in me.
I crossed so many people, but no one was as enchanting as the soul that was connected to my mind. It was happy despite all the pressures and tests. A child played his ball and accidentally hit me slightly on the arm with it, I smiled at the little girl who looked at me, clinching her face apologetically, without breaking my stride.
Then I reached home, realized that I do not own anything. That the illusion of a higher living was limited to the moments I was alone. Not here, not in this place where everything was planned and decided for me, not by me. But these few moments of respite were enough to live upon.
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