Guest Post: Dear London…

Words and photo by Ramble who has come from India to enjoy the little things London has to offer for a while. She blogs here and has allowed me to repost this entry to share with you because I loved it.

Dear London,

It is difficult not to fall in love with you.
I came here expecting regimented routine where things never go wrong, where buses always run on time. But was relieved to find dug up railways, bank men who want you to come on another day because they want to go home [at 3.30 pm]. And bus drivers who will decide to just terminate the route because they felt like it.
They said you were rich. But going through your secondhand markets where even the worst junk has takers, I doubt it. But in the infinite number of people from myriad cultures and countries who float through your streets, you are definitely rich. [I say that at the cost of sounding cheesy].
While looking at the supermarket aisle and sharing appalling sighs over the price of a jar of peanut butter with an African lady, I feel a certain richness. In India, one never used to carry poverty on one’s sleeve with so much pride.
In the hospital-like smell which emits from the silence in your tubes where crowds exist in negation of any sound, there could be a need to reach your tribe – your little China or Poland or Senegal or England or India or Egypt. Maybe when the tube drops you at your “country” the silence will burst open in a bottle of drink, a cup of tea or a prayer.
I love asking people on your streets for the way. The stiff faces open up in a smile or a scratch of the chin. Every one of them tries their best to find out the way for a stranger. In that utopian state of mind of maplessness, one can ignore the helpful and not so helpful of your road signs.
I hate the broken bits of beer bottles on your streets, wondering when will they break open my only pair of shoes. If you are anyway risking your liver, why not risk the intake of a little plastic? But since your shops sell alcohol cheaper than fruits or vegetables, my concern can only end up in the dustbin.
Well, I am not looking for a happily ever after with you; though you are charming and mysterious, complicated and easy, rich and poor, beautiful and worn out, handsome and trampy. I need a bit more ownership of “my place” if I ever find it. Wouldn’t ever want to get into a “where did u come from” argument with you where my colour and attire might some day become stones around my neck. “My place”, if I ever find it, would have neither commitment phobia nor Othello syndrome.
But while I am here, let me sit by your river sides, watch your crowds float by, sigh at the impossible prices inside your shops, wade through your unemployment scene, and whisper to you – that it is difficult not to fall in love with you.

2 comments on “Guest Post: Dear London…

  1. Lovely letter… echoes feelings I feel each time a I visit London from New Delhi. I feel free in this city and strangely at home. Thanks for the post.

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