Friendship · London

Old City, New Girl – the sublime discovery


#written on a rainy evening sitting by the window in my apartment in London, posted only now.

When I landed in London,
along with two pieces of luggage I arrived here brimming with excitement and my
dreams sprinkled all over. I was going to be in a new country all by myself and
the uncertainty of how days would unfold gave me a high every time I wondered
about it. The time had come – to experience newness in life, to open my mind to
a different culture, to explore and discover a new me. That was the dream,
after all. And I was not going to let go of this wonderful chance, I said to
myself as I stepped onto the streets of London on my first evening. 
I spent my time walking
amidst castle-like buildings and sprawling lush lawns. I found company to visit
places on the outskirts – small towns like Twyford and Henley-on-Thames,
Brighton’s beautiful (and sunny!) pebble beach, Wimbledon, the Roman Baths; and
sometimes even to share the pure joy of uninterrupted shopping as well. Other
times, I would hop on tubes on my own, turning every direction my heart would beat
for and I was hardly ever disappointed.
But, whenever I sat down
to capture and pen down my thoughts about London, I’d invariably find
something missing. What could I possibly say about this beautiful city that
wasn’t said before, that wasn’t captured (even preserved) already. So I always
kept it for a later time and date, hoping I’d figure out the Midas touch that
made this city so special for me.


In just over two months
I had fallen in love with London. I began to share a very special attachment
towards it, like the city was my own. And it made me wonder to the point of
enticing me to find out the real reason for my unconditional love for this
city. Was it my exciting job, my weirdly wonderful team mates at work, my small
and cozy apartment in Stratford or was it my independence. I kept thinking –
closed-lip when out and aloud when in a shower – what has this city really
given me…
Actually, the answer was
right in front of me all that time. Only, it had taken me a while to reach to
that realization. 
During my first week in
London, I met someone – a colleague, friend, companion – whatever name you’d
want to give. A complete opposite of how and who I am. Disciplined,
sophisticated, having some clear goals in life, living with reason and logic –
but at the same time, he also knew to enjoy life and its eccentricities, just
the way I did. And it made us tick from the very beginning. Our innumerable
conversations sitting at a dining table are perhaps some of the choicest of
moments I’d savor for the rest of my life. 
I wonder sometimes,
would I have enjoyed the train journey home from work as much everyday had it
not been for his company; would my visits to Hyde Park have remained as magical
had he not come with me to share that bench by the lake in the rain; or would
my knee have hurt more had he not walked with me that evening and taken care
that I get home safe in one piece… or would that Sunday afternoon be any
funnier had we not turned up wearing clothes in the same colour-combo
(absolutely same, believe me!). 
When I had come to
London, I knew it was going to be all ‘me-time’ – away from the usual
hustle-bustle of my life back in India, away from all things and people
familiar and I’d take a step closer to understanding myself better. But now I
know, the joy of discovering oneself lies in sharing oneself – one’s happiness
and sorrows, one’s dreams and hopes, one’s successes and failures –
with someone else. Now I know, the strange love I feel for London is actually
the warmth of love for this friend – with whom I learnt to share my fears and
fantasies, my trials and tribulations.
As beautiful a city as
London truly is, it can get equally tough on you. It is fast and keeps you on your
toes – quite literally. And, in the daily drill of chasing our goals,
unintentionally sometimes, we forget to notice the small joys of living. So,
for a few moments, take your mind off the innumerable post-it notes stuck to
your laptops/PCs at work, refrigerator-doors at home and try to find the
special, unique feeling that puts a smile on your face; that makes your city,
your life even more beautiful for you! Who knows, you might find a friend for
life just the way I did! 

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3 thoughts on “Old City, New Girl – the sublime discovery

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