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On The Run From Reality

The day went by not like a blur – not hazy, not unmemorable, not even something you can turn numb to. I spent the day very much alive, and it was every bit the loud, heavy, overwhelming as it seems to be by onlookers in their home balconies. The day went by in Bangalore traffic. Here were throngs of people with no question marks on their faces, unlike mine, waiting for buses to transport their living bodies, complex systems through equally difficult to understand roads and narrower alleys. Here were tall, bright, buildings basking in the sun blinking away the sights of a million starring eyes as they passed them by. Here were spaces being fully packed so much that the common housefly was in the space between the rolled down window and leaves of a dying plant attempting to ride the cab with me.

If I saw a spot open, I saw at least the halves of three different vehicles chase each other to occupy it. What were the odds that even those vehicles were full to the brim with the weight of the day that everyone lived, crammed beyond recognition. Auto drivers were splitting seats with passengers, buses croaked along and within this, a whole human train hung onto the railing rocking back and forth. Honks ceased, for exceptions were far too less to act on. Lights turned on to invite detours from everyone’s destination, saying ‘stop a spell. Let it die down before you get home. So that you don’t die out.’

I became one of the many that stopped way before my destination, my ride nearly crashing into a sari-wearing, eye-scrunched lady who happily indicated left and cut right. I shook my head, the driver offered up a weak smile to say ‘yes this is my regular life’. With the first foot down, I heard a prolonged honk, as if I was disqualified from some reality show that I never subscribed to.

I walked my confused legs to a nondescript bar and rode the lift to the rooftop where my lungs could relax but my ears could not. I watched the toy cars blaring with no movement, the roads flooding with red. A metro barged in to the chaos, chiming in from the fear of missing out from some distant corner of the city. It seemed then to me that the city isn’t the one that kills people, nor the traffic. I caught my reflection against the glass panels of the Conrad and sighed. I didn’t like the obvious answer.


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