Saturday, March 3, 2007

old familiar

Once in a while a day comes along that is so full of things and places and people that it just begs to be chronicled in every detail, but those days usually turn out so full that they leave no time to talk about them beyond a mental note in the head. Or multiple mental notes, even.
Something someone said got me thinking about the stories I tell, and the embellishments I add, and the liberties I take with the truth in the telling. That's the wonderful thing about human memory, really - its ability to be at once both vague and specific, and still entirely selective in everything.
Its tendency towards associations - people with places, and places with people, and them both with adventures; and sights and smells and sounds and songs. There are certain things I can never think of without immediately thinking of certain people who were so intensely into those things that they got linked to them in my head.
Like 1066. Or Pratchett. Or Oasis. Or London. Or Cricket. Or Milan (milan milan milan). Or India Coffee House.

What I love about every day; the idea that makes me look at every instant that I'm out of the house as an opportunity for an adventure; is the chance to make new associations. Every day is different, because you see new people in old places, and old people in new places, and old people and old places in some way new; and boom! you have yourself a new story.

I love going places I've been; I love meeting people I have seen.
Hmmm. That sounded suspiciously pseudo-sentimental :) but oh, it needed to be said.

There is really nothing I enjoy quite as much as visiting old places differently (different direction and transport and company and purpose). Unless, of course, it's landing up somewhere I've once been lost in some way new and unexpected. Going around in circles on foot, or on the scooter, or in the car; asking directions from strangers, going wherever instinct leads you… and then, suddenly, surprise! there you are in a place you know from before; and all the maps in your head shift to accommodate. Or you wander between two places you know, and take a turn unintentional, and oh! Here's where you were lost last week!
The first time I connected Malleshwaram and Fraser Town and home, all accidentally, I went around in a happy daze for days. (ooh! lookie, a little pretty :) )

Twice last week, in a space of two days, I visited a part of town I'd once gotten lost in. When you've spent an hour and a half walking up a road and then down the same road because you have no idea which direction you're supposed to be headed (and ending up having adventures involving kindly men of God and women selling guavas, incidentally) you tend to get that stretch of road marked out in your head. And then, to end up visiting that exact same road - from the other direction, twice in two days, with two different people - and having the entire geography in your head reassemble to fit in that new information... oh, there's no feeling like it in all the world.

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