Sunday, September 09, 2007

Two Cities (Not A Tale of)

There are two Trivandrums that I see. One that I see from the driving seat of my Maruthi Zen and the other that I see from the window seat of a City Bus.

No no, I'm not talking about the Trivandrum of the haves and the Trivandrum of the have nots. Even when I understand that it is an important topic to write on, I don't have statistics to do that. Now, I'm just talking about the looks of the city.

I had left Trivandrum in Island Express[1] in July 2002 and returned driving my Zen in March 2005. I've given the Zen to workshop yesterday for a round of patching and polishing and so he will be away for this whole week.

Ever since I had returned to Trivandrum, I was mostly seeing the city from the driving seat of the Zen. And I too had the waves of surprise, nostalgia, appreciation and back pain. But today, with him in the workshop, I took a City bus from Peroorkada to Statue, and got a window seat on the left row. Since I wasn't going for anything urgent, I was just absorbing the view of the city as a function of space while the bus accelerated and braked its way through the same old city. And again a new wave of surprise, nostalgia, appreciation and back pain rolled over me.

From the driving seat of my car, I see the city as an arrangement of roads, traffic islands, traffic signals, turns and parking spaces. From the bus I see the city as a string of shops and people waiting in the bus stands. (A third way of seeing the city is when I take a walk with some of my friends, and then I hardly see the city.)

Is the first view when I traverse the city with a purpose and the second when I just absorb the journey? Is the first about the results and the second about the details? Is the first about the me of today and the second about the me of yesterday?

No no, I think the first is about me keeping myself busy in thoughts.

Am I depriving me of a sweet joy by keeping myself busy in thoughts? Plans, analysis and purpose. Are they all conspiring to take away a different view of this world from me?

Ahhh. Its analysis again. Stop.

1. Thats not that train's official name since ages, but people just don't call it Kanyakumari Bangalore Express. Local historians say that It was originaly named after Wellington Island in Kochi.