(Above photo by Debi Sen Gupta)
The city, at 2:30 in the morning is a different beast, a cornered animal; the dragon in the story that yields to reveal the treasure beneath it,
All through the day I hated her, the crone, she makes me sweat, makes me cry, makes me sick, makes me claustrophobic, feel like I’m trapped in Ayn Rand’s worst nightmare, makes me feel lost, makes my own unique presence a thing of near impossibility. She traps me, like the insects drawn to this dimly lit beat up laptop screen in my dark, scattered room.
By Rushi Bhavsar
Alumnus, Class of 2012
There’s been enough said about her, about her legendary spirit, About how we triumph despite, or inspite of everything, Of how fear and loathing can no longer even begin to hurt a city that has seen the very depths of them both. About how everyone from the lunch delivery men to the slumdwellers are miracles of existence, a streamlined method of survival in a city that seems to engulf you from the moment you step in it, a city that disgusts you and makes you feel depraved. One that hides whorls of perverse pleasures and decrepit life within the carpet on which I tread on everyday.
And I keep treading
But at 2:30 in the morning, I let go, I wander off into the night, looking for the last flame, and finding it, and listening to a song I never thought I’d have liked, it hits me, this is my moment, this is when the city reaches out to reclaim us, the orphaned children who she never spares during the day, the juvenile delinquents, the pleasure seekers and the depraved, those of us who forever felt their own identities questioned midst the sheer magnitude of its urban sprawl,
This is when she breathes, when the amphetamine rush that is the sweat of 15 million people ceases to run through her veins.
This is when she holds us to her tired, scarred chest, coddles us, listens to our frenzied dreams and aspirations and shushes us, when she gives us the eternal hope that we give her so much credit for. This is when she listens to our cries for help, where she brushes the hair off my face and tells me I’m her special child, that someday I will return and walk these streets as if I owned them.
I sit back in the little enclave of my pseudo balcony, listening to the cicadas whir in the depth of the black night, broken by the occasional sound of the cars, I see lights glimmer into the distance reminding me that I’m not alone. But I ignore them, utter denial as it were, tonight, I’m her special child, And I lift my arms into the smoke hazy sky and I scream my name out into the wilderness that exists within my carefully routine life, and I rattle the cages of my existence for these glorious hours.
I’ve said this so many times before today
The crone, she grabs me back