the fatwaif diaries

the workings of a wandering mind

Saturday, March 04, 2006

a disease called nostalgia

it's an almost-perfect saturday with the sun out as it should be. the bendy river outside the window sparkles like a million diamonds. the gulls are screaming at the top of their lungs and i've drawn the sail-white curtains all the way because otherwise i'm squinting! the past week has been mostly dull, grey and depressingly cold. it's the stillness in the air that does you in. doesn't help that you have to bundle up every time you venture out or that every journey involves plenty of walking, and that you can safely expect not to know anybody you see on the road or in the train or even in the elevator back to the apartment.
while taking my daily journey on the train the other day i finally identified the empty pit-like feeling in my stomach. i used to think the word 'homesickness' was off the mark because feeling homesick - nostalgic for home, is entirely a state of mind, nothing like a disease. but i've found now that it's very much a physical experience that saps the body as much as it saps the mind.
i find myself confronted with visions, sounds and smells from particular home places every now and then - unexpected and lovely but also discomforting and disruptive. i woke one morning thinking of that ugly busy area around saidapet with ridiculously disproportionate affection. another dark day on the train i was plagued with thoughts of a random place - a leafy slopey old street near iisc. i find myself longing for noisy indiranagar mornings and trying to feel, longdistance, the maddeningly warm madras sun that seems to yells 'wake up!' in the most ferociously anti-depressant way.
how lame, you must think. yes, i'm increasingly annoyed with myself for allowing these reveries. and then something my mother mentioned the other day rang true: about living in the present, not the past, not the future. she called it a yogic attitude. i think there's something there.
so here i am, determined to make the most of the english sun, however watery and weak. not very convincing, huh?!

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