that word is as subjective as paradoxically universal it seems, for some to travel doesn’t even cover crossing oceans, for some it’s as far as crossing borders, for the mildly ignorant and juvenile teenagers in this city it means covering a distance of 15 kilometers of the 36 this city is made of , in a car they call their own and visit whatever the seasonal ‘place to be’ is.
Surprisingly, all this doesn’t sound half as bad as i made it to be to the previously mentioned teenagers. And as hypocritical as it sounds, i was well acquainted with some.

She was one of them. Or atleast I thought she was.

When you live in the same city,the same house all your life, you build your own ecosystem. It has people you want to be close to, people who want to be close to you, the family that chose you, the family that you choose, a slight romantic congnizance and the like. You grow up to evolve as a person, but you are limited to your own ecosystem. No matter how ‘out of the box’ you perceive you are, how radical your concepts are, they are – as disappointing as it sounds – the by products of the ecosystem.Some of us outgrow our own safe place by changing cities,meeting new people, trying to change ourselves, some of us are comfortable with whatever we have around us,some of us don’t fit in either of those categories. And she was the latter.

Like a lot of us, she yearned for stability despite being moored, but she also wanted to break down her ecosystem,build small ones everywhere she went – going everywhere she wanted to. She didn’t agree to what Tolkien said ” how sad is that people believe that not all those who wander are lost, for what fun it is to wander if you don’t let yourself be a little lost ” which is ridiculously literal but liberating and she completed it with ” but how scary it is to risk losing yourself in the process “. And like a lot of us, she was a conflicted contradiction.

She didn’t think about how anchored she was, she didn’t think much about anything at all, She also didn’t live in the moment, more like drift through many. Until the day she got an escape she never knew she needed. She traveled across 2 oceans, built a life in another continent, with her past rather clenching on to her like a rugged rope choking her throat being cut with a blunt tool. After 425 days of a soothing pandemonium, she was ready to fit into a new ecosystem.

I’d call it fate if i didn’t know better, but just as she was feeling accustomed to the refurbished walls that now surrounded her, circumstances swayed her across another ocean, where building new walls hurt, because they drifted in closer, and they -for the first time -felt harsh.

As she tried harder to smoothen up to them, this time, while building up an emotional fortress , she was trapped in herself. While evolving in a lucid ecosystem, she lost her wanderlust.




6 different partners , 1 significant life event and over 720 days of undefined friendship, unprecedented arguments and a range of mutual emotions from indifference to infatuation later, here I was , sitting on my bed at 3 am with way more than the appropriate amount of caffeine in my system , mentally stuck in the lounge room 50 metres and atleast 20 sweaty teenagers apart from him.
If you looked at him in a room full of people, his tall structure and brimmingly above average face aside, there was nothing remarkable about him. He’s the guy sitting on the metro floor reading a book you’ve probably heard of with an appropriately disheveled mane . He’s the guy you look up from your phone to see but don’t glance back at again. He’s the awkwardly likeable friend with a rather accustomed sense of humour. He’s as normal as normal gets.

I could say his presence in my life made him extraordinary for me, but then I’d hesitantly erase out the ‘extra’.
He is there for me and he isn’t.
He knows me a little more than I’d like to be known about, and he also didn’t know me at all.
I’d think about him if he hadn’t talked in a while, and I’d also let it go even after months had passed.
He is the pandora to my existence.
He is the kind of puzzle I like with a few pieces missing.

The raging oestrogen in me often replaced the faceless man pining me down on the bed to roughly kiss me to peak the edges of my desire with him, only for me to push those away.
I’d repeatedly convinced myself I was in love with him because not labelling it was too confusing , but I knew love wasn’t the right word for it.
I didn’t want to figure him out, yet I yearned for him to understand me.
I didn’t want to label what we had, yet I craved for him to force me to do so.

What we had- if we had something- was absurd and indescribable but elementary and insipid and the same time.

For he lit me like the streets on Diwali, I hope I was atleast a faintly flickering flame for him.
He was to me like the 0.1% gasses are to the air we breath, not significant enough to distinguish but simultaneously incumbent .

And to put a million raging thoughts to rest, I think he still is the only mystery I prefer unsolved.