Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Vanilla Twilight

Bangalore has more than half a dozen nicknames.

Garden City, Pensioners Paradise, Silicon Valley of India, these are just the popular ones.

Oh well, there are many things that make this city special and thus I’m not surprised at all.

For me, Bangalore city was is and will always be known by one name and one name alone – Home.

I have lived here all my life, and over the years, I have slowly but surely adapted to all the changes that have come about in my time here.

Even the ever increasing city traffic.

Most of you are going – 'Yeah! Sure you have'.

I might be sounding a little insincere right about now so I’ll just explain myself a little.

I’m not saying I ‘like’ the traffic in Bangalore; it’s just that I have learned to live with it.

On some rare occasions though, for no particular reason, like magic, the congestion in some parts of the city just disappears.

If you happen to be around in that brief window, you get a glimpse of how Bangalore used to be 15 years ago.

This month’s blog is about one such time in my life that happened about 2 years ago.

Working on weekends and public holidays is not uncommon in the healthcare industry.

Often times work gets so hectic that we even tend to forget that a major festival is on the anvil.

On Diwali in 2014 I wasn’t perturbed sitting all by myself in the hospital waiting to see if anybody was going to come along seeking treatment.

It’s a mistake to take it for granted that people won’t show up on a major holiday, sometimes,the exact opposite is true.

So I waited but no one turned up.

On my way to work that day, the traffic in the city was especially bad.

Long serpentine lines of 4 and 2 wheelers occupied both sides of the streets for most of my ride.

I spent the whole evening in the clinic trying to work out a strategy to escape the traffic on my way back home.

“Don’t take the Sankey tank route doctor”. Hema the receptionist told me at the end of the day.

I smiled, nodded my head and thanked her for showing up for work. I also assured her that I would never do the mistake of taking the aforementioned route on a night like this.
Remember the part where I told you about the different nicknames that Bangalore has?

You probably don’t know this, but a few decades ago Bangalore was also known by the name of ‘The City of Lakes’.

Yes, back then Namma Bengaluru had over 75 lakes and a huge river.

Very few of these are actually left today, Sankey tank is one of them.

Traffic on the bridge over the lake is usually insane. I had no intentions whatsoever to even wander anywhere close to it that night.

It may seem that what you read next is entirely made up and that I am exploiting my ‘creative license’ to the fullest, but trust me, I’m telling you the truth, cross my heart and hope to die :)

I don’t know how it happened; I really don’t, but in spite of my best efforts to avoid Sankey tank land I found myself on top of the bridge at around 9 p.m. that night.

There was no reason for the traffic to be less at that time, but what lay ahead of me was a completely empty single stretch of road.

The water in the lake to my right was shimmering, reflecting the light from the street lamps.
That wasn’t the best part.

The song playing in my ears just about then was ‘Vanilla Twilight’, a mystical bordering on magical tune by ‘Owl City’.

I slowed down a little to soak into the song and just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…..

Wait for it.

Fireworks lit up the skies above me.

For the next minute or so, I was transfixed, completely taken away by the moment.

This unexpected and yet sublime experience is till this day amongst the best memories of my life.

It was almost as if the universe had put on a show just for me that night at a time when I wasn’t exactly in the best place I could be.
Day in and day out we hear people from all walks of life talk about taking hold of a moment, capturing it,making it our own etc. But, lately, I’ve been wondering if there are times in our lives when the reverse is true, i.e. getting seized by the moment instead.

Let’s admit it, the majority of our lives are for the most part tedious and monotonous.

Except Mr. Tom Cruise.

Wait, why exactly is he the exception?

You have to agree, the man has a lot of stuff going on for himself, well atleast in his films he does.

Remember the movie Edge of tomorrow?

The tagline for that film was ‘Live, Die, Repeat’

For me it is usually ‘Eat, Sleep Repeat’.

Clearly, Mr. Cruise is having a lot more fun.
But ever so often in our apparently ‘boring’ lives, there are times when extraordinary things unexpectedly happen to us, like what happened to me on the bridge over the lake.

Moments like these help us realize that we aren't just another drop of water in the ocean, instead, we are special and important in our own little ways.

We matter.

Look back on your life and think about those times when the beauty around you was so overwhelming, that you couldn't help but think it was all just for you.

Until next time.


P.S 'The Sentimental Idiot' completes 3 years since its inception today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your constant love, support and encouragement.
God bless you all.