People. They are the most beautiful thing in the world. They carry stories within them. The stories reflect our times. Yet, for me, the times of Indore were not a reflection of people. But the lack of them.
It was the most lonely I had ever been. An introvert till the eight standard, I never yearned for company. An extrovert thereafter, I could not live without it. Living alone in a new city, and not a fast happening city like Mumbai and Delhi, Indore felt like the Jaipur I had no clue about.
It was exactly the same – narrow road, delicious food, simple lifestyle, yet what it was devoid of was familiar faces. Thank god, I had a job to tend to. I was a reporter in a leading national daily. It was the only aspect of the new world that kept me going. And of course, the lip smacking food of Sarafa! Slurrp!
I did meet some exceptionally warm people at office who ensured that I was at peace. But I could not blame them even if I was not. It took me quite a while to open up as I was unwilling to add to my list of six million friends. But what I failed to gather was that humans need immediate gratification which can not always be obtained by hooking to social media. Later, I did realize that, the hard way.
It was the day I went to watch a movie alone. I realized right then that it is going to be a lonely journey. But I saw hope in the prospects of occasional visits from my Jaipur friends, which a few of them did, and I hold them more dear than anyone else today. But the majority failed me.
While all my colleagues were from the same region, if not the same city, here was I, a 22-year old, struggling with his first job in a new city. I am not indulging in self-pity, just setting up the scene for you. Indore was all the ‘me time’ that I had chosen to distance myself from over the years.
Morning tea, a long walk back home and washing my clothes were my indulgences, or probably the distractions, that kept me occupied, apart from work. All my strings were still intact. I kept wondering why I was not being taken seriously, while sipping my morning tea, why my friends will hand out false assurances so conveniently, while walking back, and if this situation will ever change, while washing the clothes.
It was the day I watched the fourth movie alone. Sultan. Not that the film was a life changing experience but I would like to believe it did change my life. I had processed something that I otherwise wouldn’t have, had I been consumed by company. I went back and blogged about it and did not care what the readers thought about it.
The next day, I kept recalling the nuances of the film while sipping my morning tea, smiled back at the work I did that day while walking back, and looked forward while washing my clothes. Looked forward to anything – the work scene next day, the next film to watch (yes, alone) or even how to make the next morning tea more masaledar.
I was no longer looking forward to a reply or the next fake assurance. I forgave people but I did not forget their follies. If anyone till date fails to stick to their word or takes me for granted way too much, I allow them into my life. I forgive them. But how I know in the deepest recesses of my heart that I will always love them a little less.
I could not have learnt about people in a better way than what I did in the Times of Indore, without them.