I Remember This City

I remember this city, when I first visited it as a wide-eyed child. I remember the gardens, I remember the flowers, I remember the Vidhana Soudha, I remember the bull temple. I remember the saree my mother purchased from Deepam sarees. And I remember the refreshments the shop owners happily served my family of four. What I simply cannot remember is how I made my way through all of this.

I remember this city, when as a new teen, I visited it the second time, for my cousin’s wedding. Koramangala, they called the place where she was getting married. A largely vacant quaint place it felt, much like the rest of the city. I remember the gorgeous decorations in her wedding hall. I remember the fantastic amount of fresh roses they used to deck up the stage with. I remember my brother-in-law’s charming friend, who made everyone in the wedding hall fall in love with him. I remember the gorgeous, Udupi style food we ate for the duration of the wedding ceremonies. What I simply cannot remember is how I made my way through all of this.

I remember this city, when as a fresh graduate, I visited it for the third and fourth times, to find a job. I remember a couple of entrance tests. I remember staying in my friend’s pad and experiencing the first taste of an independent existence. I remember being a little overwhelmed with having to travel all alone in a new city. I remember eating chow chow for the first time. I remember getting lost somewhere in J.P. Nagar, trying to find the address of my friend’s cousin. What I simply cannot remember is how I made my way through all of this.

I remember this city, when I visited it for the fifth time, to meet up with friends. I remember the joyousness. I remember the vibrancy. I remember the city’s quaint-coupled-with-cosmopolitan vibe. I remember the open spaces. I remember the lovely weather. I remember the generous sprinkling of green. I remember wanting to come back again. I remember thinking, this would be a good place to live, and work, and travel. I remember thinking, I will come back. What I simply cannot remember is how I made my way through all of this.

I remember the dread now. I remember the terror. I remember the fear. I remember missed flights and late meetings and unending journeys. I remember thinking I would die and end up a ghost inside the vehicle I am in, never being able to make through it. I remember crying a little every time I see a chopped tree making way for an extra ‘lane’ on a two-lane highway. I remember the savageness of my bad moods displayed to family. I remember, the standard conversation starter at work. “Traffic was so bad today”. I remember the heat, the stunning repression of it. I remember the glass covered buildings, mushrooming on every piece of open space there might be. I remember the thinning covers of jacaranda. I remember wondering if this is Bangalore’s way of telling me that I should have left it alone, others like me should have left it alone. I remember feeling terrified that the city of my first visit is forever gone. I remember every day, how I make my way through all of this. I remember feeling that Bangalore probably hates me as much as I hate what has become of it.

Author Bio: Prashila Naik is a writer, technologist from Goa, based out of Bangalore.

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Bangalore Writers Workshop (BWW) is interested in fostering the creative mind, encouraging a community, and making writers aware of who they are as creators of text. Bangalore Writers Workshop is a unique, effective, and interactive method of bringing a group of writers together and allowing them to study the craft of writing while simultaneously receiving constructive feedback on their own work. BWW uses the workshop method. We run intensive creative writing workshops with small groups in Bangalore. Our groups are fuelled by passion and the creative energy of people with diverse life experiences. Find out more on our website. www. Bangalorewriters.com
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