Today while on Facebook, a random acquaintance on my list had commented on the house photos of a friend of hers in London. Don’t you love that. When a friend of yours has commented on some complete stranger’s pics and thereby you have free hand access to the entire album. I can’t tell you how much time I spend on these random albums, it has helped the voyeur in me blossom.
So this particular album had absolutely no people in it. It was simply pictures (and must I add from EVERY possible angle) of some young Yugoslavian lad (with unpronounceable name’s) bachelor pad in London. But the album was like a film set. A story almost. A movie without a cast. And so I spent the better half of the afternoon picturing myself in it. I daydreamed of living in London. Of catching the tube and coming home everyday from work. Maybe I’d sit on the blue sofa that extended from the kitchenette near the bay window and over looked a gorgeous little patch of garden and sip my evening tea. Then I wondered what work I’d be involved in. So I decided I’d be a writer. A very successful writer because this place looked rather pretty, even though it was small. Plus since it overlooked garden patch and all that and since I’ve heard that London is like bleeding Bombay where overlooking patches of green are a price well paid for, I’d decided that successful and thriving I was. The house didn’t seem to have a bookshelf, so apparently I wasn’t a reader. Or maybe I wasn’t a buyer anymore because London is so expensive. Friends say that water costs 2 pounds. I also didn’t see a TV anywhere and this loss was palpable to me. Books I can survive without. But no TV? Then I remembered a friend told me that you need some sort of license to even buy a bloody TV set there. Forget about cable and all that. Imagine that. Imagine if that happened here. Here in Bombay where illegal chawls with 12 people living in a space for 2, may not have food in their stomachs, but they’ll always have the classic 21 inch color display on 24/7. How can you be hungry when you have bollywood to feed your belly? So inevitably the whole picturesque London pad started to seem uninviting. Then I realized it would be biting cold and rainy and grey. I suddenly even pictured it starting to rain outside the window beyond the old blue sofa and felt a pang of depression. I felt lonely in the house. What if I just sat and wrote all day. Wrote so much that I had no friends. And that even if I managed to afford a night out in London, almost always your friends may not be that lucky. And worst, what if old lovers did not want me anymore (which in all probability they won’t!) Egad! No. London was definitely turning out to be Dickension. A Bleak House.
When P got back home we had another round of our favorite topic of discussion these days – moving to foreign. We’ve mentally masturbated on pretty much everything. Which country to move, what work to do, where to stay, what to see, how much rations to buy, what plays to watch where, where to window shop, where to actually shop etc. I confessed to her that London wasn’t seeming as exciting as before. But she didn’t take me very seriously because I keep changing my mind about these things. Truth is we both hear such variant things about a particular city from different people that it’s left us pretty confused. Some say London, some say the states, some say south east asia. You should see P and me around remotely global people. P runs after every person who comes from her foreign offices asking them a hundred questions. I think I almost lead a young white man to believe I was very interested in stalking him last night at a party when I ran a verbal Spanish inquisition on him. As you can see, we are quite obsessed. The funny thing about all this is, we know we won’t really do anything about it. The very middleclassness of the next statement irks me – but we really don’t think we can. We have rents and loans and bills to pay. P has a younger sibling who depends on her so she can’t afford the financial insecurity a move may bring. Neither of us have families that can afford to support us anymore. It would infact be a miracle if they had money stashed away somewhere to get us married. And living in a city like Bombay has ensured that we have absolutely no savings.
Of course, before everyone starts labeling me as fatalistic and unadventurous and lazy, let me add that this does not mean I have shelved the idea. No. I still hope for it and I’m still pushing towards it. It may not happen anytime soon, but it will eventually. For the moment my October itch has been sated. Every year this time I’m almost always undergoing a change of scene and true to word I have again. I’m still with my company, but I’ve moved departments. Animation infact dear friends shall be my forthcoming forte. And the move was planned keeping the ‘larger’ scheme of things in mind. And keeping the possession of a universal skill in mind as well. Animation is going to be so huge in the next few years, that Animation production in itself will be like skilled labor, because it’s so technical. Right now as a nascent industry in India, there’s no right way or wrong way of going about it, so I’m glad to at least be doing something new and fresh. And that’s keeping me happy for the moment.
And as P reassuringly adds “Anyway we have the house lease till next October man”. Amen