Thursday, July 16, 2015

Too close for comfort

Koramangala is beginning to fascinate me, with its feverishly proximate houses, its meandering alleyways --- always leading up to newer, undiscovered parts of the neighbourhood, its like a marauder's map of Narnia. Koramangala's residents remind me of Behala --- inquisitive, but well-meaning. The shopkeeper on the corner keeps an account of how many men have come upto your house in a given week, how many ola drivers, how many delivery boys; the neighbourhood aunties know that you and the boy, you're living with, are not married, and yet search for a tinge of sindoor in your forehead when you're out grocery-shopping. The people here are mostly forgettable, like their big concrete houses so close to each other, all looking the same.

If you listen closely, you can hear conversations. In the evenings, in Koramangala, you can hear other people's lives happening as you walk by. Sometimes when A and I are in the middle of an argument, I wonder how many people can hear our half-stories. When we play the same song over and over again, does it irritate them? Can they hear us shout about who should do the dishes, and why the dal is burnt this time? These houses are so close, it nauseates me. From the corner of my study, I can often see entwined bodies in the next house and I feel like a voyeur. Sometimes my neighbour watches me cook from behind his moss-green curtains, his face behind that bitten fruit, eye-brows tensing as he sees me obsess about clean countertops, impeccably diced carrots, the consistency of smoothies.

But Koramangala really fascinates me, I am not joking. Its alleyways eating into the lush greenery like distributaries is beautiful. The fact that I haven't lived next to a grimy, noisy flyover in the middle of this concrete city in months is comforting. This city has not taken me in, just like no other city has. But a tiny part of Koramangala, its several mains and crosses intact, breathe me in every evening --- me in my shocking pink shoes, armed with headphones and podcasts, trying to fit in with other runners, when all I am trying to do is discover its cracks and patches. 


  1. I wonder the same all the time and in Mumbai, everything and being is close to each other ..too close!