Going Backwards

Chennai Diaries. December 2012.

I’m all about change; I thrive on it. I’ve grown up all across the country, moving every two years, attending six different schools. It’s an adventure, and it beats doing the same-thing-every-other-day-for-the-rest-of-my-life.

Except at times like these.

I’m going back to the city where I’ve spent ten long years of my life: Chennai. Back to the ancient house where I’ve been 5, 15, and 21. The same old streets that I can walk blindfolded. The large playground overlooked by our house, which gets immensely crowded on the weekends. Cricket balls will fly into our compound, my dogs will bark, and my Grandpa will yell at the young boys. The same little ice cream parlour around the corner, the same beauty parlour where I get my eyebrows to look somewhat presentable. The familiar smell of overripe mangoes in the summer. The same evening walk around one of the many parks of Anna Nagar. Sathyam Cinemas, and the popcorn that always (thankfully) tastes the same. Our usual bewilderment at the sight of people wearing sweaters in “Chennai winters”. Same old rickety share-autos. Same old hangouts. Same old pubs, same old Ladies’ Nights.

Same old people, who have always been there.

Sometimes, ‘same old, same old’ is the best thing about life. And coming back to a place where time seems to have stood still is what restores my sanity.

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