You flow effortlessly into the remainder of my nostalgia; a life of stamps on postcards, of sophisticated salons and bittersweet before-dinner drinks; of operas and foreign languages and relics from faraway lands. Yes, it is a certain kind of world, one that few see, but indeed, it was mine.
Or it could have been my world, if only I was able to see beyond my own pain to the shining parts. But I was not, so I had to come to you instead to give me what I already had.
You are a city steeped in time. Memories lay stored, not in dusty boxes, but in homes in narrow lanes. Millions of conversations inhabit concrete walls. Millions of words shouted in vigorous debate echo off tiled ceilings. Millions of chance meetings and electrifying moments when hand touches hand kept secret in creaky stair wells.
It is a harsh and cruel world we live in. At least you let us have our memories.
I only have fifteen days’ worth of my own memories to draw from. Fifteen days of the leaves of my courtyard brilliant against the blue of the sky, of indecipherable yet beautiful letters and numbers on signs and trams that now have lost their mystery and convey their meaning, of nondescript moments and mundane errands and inconvenient modes of transport, and yes, even of love.
And yet my memories are not enough; for some unknown reason I share in your collective nostalgia. I see with new eyes the images burned into the memories of those who love you but are far away; I hear with new ears the stories, the words they woke up at 4:00 once a year to hear; I see the longing in their eyes and I share in their wish to be swept back up into the current. Although of a different presentation, this nostalgia feels similar to my own, so I entreat you to allow it to be.
The day everything changed, I stood at the window in my darkened room, looking out at the house next door. A lamp was on in a large sitting room on the first floor. Somewhere, strains of a piano. Perhaps there was tea, served in delicate cups on a lacquer tray; perhaps it was coffee in a sturdy mug accompanied by a few pages of a novel. In that moment, looking through the leaves to the life fully lived just out of my view, I imagined that one day, I would come back to you. This would be my home, and from that sitting room I would look out as the last rays of the sun fell upon the surrounding buildings and amidst the cacophony all around me, I would be at peace.
And perhaps I will.
Post written by : Andrea Mandal.
She is a copywriter in Pullman, Washington. Married to a Bengali, she has found a new love in Kolkata and Rabindrasangeet. Song writer by passion, she is one friend who amazes me with her poetry 🙂 An extremely light hearted lady, anyone would love to work with, I wish her grand professional success in the near future. Look out for more of her posts in this blog !