Radio and a Book

Handing over my Masters dissertation would have such a massive impact on my life – I probably knew but only on a subconscious level. Within the span of two days I said Goodbyes to about twenty people whom I really like, I moved to a great big city, I started being an intern at an important research institute, my scholarship money flow ended, and all of a sudden from having over fifty friends in the vicinity of two kilometers, I have zero in this strange city. A one way ticket back to India awaits me toward the end of September, which means going so far away from the last two and a half years of my life that I’m afraid, some chord will get snapped somewhere. Overwhelmed and quietened by the suddenness of events, that’s my current state.

Enjoy the last few months while you’re still here- that’s the general advice floating around. How does one do that while looking at wonderful people and saying Goodbyes, knowing well that there are more chances of not ever being in the same space and real time with them, than ever meeting them again! Of course this place isn’t going anywhere. There’ll be umpteen opportunities to return. But, the stimulating conversations, the meaningless laughters, the shared agonies and the common euphorias, are transforming into nostalgia. The temporary families that were synthesized over the two years have begun to disperse, to be replaced by the natural ones. This feels like putting down a good book. I’m happy to have read it, but also heartbroken at the thought of it ending – Like turning over the last page of a special book with a feeling of enlightenment and a sense of great accomplishment, and yet not knowing how to fill up the vacuum created by its impending absence.

Maybe that’s why I ended up in Frankfurt, because I need to get used to being torn away from my comfort zone in the cozy and fairy-tale like city of Erfurt. Erfurt is that beautiful and charming something-between-a-city-and-a-town place, where I have my ten square metre palace, my friends who have turned into family, my German hosts who have turned into my German parents; lanes where I need not make efforts at maneuvering through a hurrying crowd, and where the air is so cool, clean and fresh that you can smell the greenery. Frankfurt means business. It’s been four days already and I can’t figure out whether I like it or not.Usually I know within the first few minutes. It’s going to be a confusing relationship.

One thing that I definitely like about Frankfurt is the apartment that I’m staying at. Rebellious, musical, politically and socially aware, artistic, alternative, sensible, accepting, curious, open and honest – that’s how this apartment defines and projects itself. Postcards, photographs, paintings and souvenirs from faraway countries, Veganism and Che Guevara posters, and paintings of Gods and Goddesses held within antique looking frames (brought in for reasons far from religion), and plenty of oriental looking lamps- these make up the space that I’m setting base at, for the whole of this month. I woke up the first morning and could only smile at the flood of sunlight and the dynamic images from all across the room that hit my eyes.

As I seat myself for dinner for one person, rustic wooden patio furniture, a radio, and an engrossing book act as my saviors. There are always rays of sunlight seeping through the cracks that seek our attention!

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