So, a month’s passed since I moved to Singapore and it feels nice to be posting from my new apartment - a place hopefully will be my address for the near future. That does give life a sense of stability. That one’s a strange word – you run away from it all your life and suddenly one fine day you begin to crave for it. I crave for my bean bag. I hear it’s coming this Saturday.
I realized Dara House had given my Mumbai life a strange stability and G was the anchor in my life. As I look around trying to figure out what all I need for the house, I miss him terribly, a little selfishly perhaps as well. It’s not easy to understand out how many dustbins will be good enough for one man and his apartment. The space looks empty; perhaps a 6 ft 6 inches human is missing as well. But luckily for him, he would not have fitted into any bed in Singapore.
Settling down in Singapore has been easy thanks to quite a few people, J the first and foremost. Starting from Day 1 when she ensured that she meets me at the station so that I can reach office without hassles and know the routes till ensuring every time I travel that I don’t forget my tickets to the airport, she has been God’s helping hand. I made new friends. Friends who took really good care of the strange Indian who doesn’t like to eat lunch before 1:00 pm, who always is looking out for a snack in between meetings and an excuse to postpone going to the gym. You know it feels nice when suddenly you are in a melting pot of the strangest of cultures where everyone is accepted as they are and there is no set rule for anything. And you realize this was the reason you chose selling soups as your career.
The friend networks came strongly to the rescue, from offers to give an accommodation if needed to financial help if required, from inviting a lonely friend to Janmastami celebrations to showing the joints to satiate the cravings for home food - friends sprang up and made me feel at home even while they were spending nights at their offices. People called from back home to check up if I had settled down and did not believe me till they had probed long and hard enough.
The freedom to be completely alone has given me the permission to do something I have been meaning to do for some time. I have decided on an interesting experiment. Starting September 1, I intend to go on a no “traditional media model” which essentially means I will be off TV primarily. There are a couple of reasons to this – I really want to understand how the mind works when it has to source new sources for information and entertainment and somewhere in the process I want to find out more about digital media – how it works, how it gets its users, how it interacts with our lives. Staying alone helps to take such calls. Let’s see how long I survive given the fact even compres could not stop me from watching Oscar Fever on Star Movies!
Every journey of mine has had its connection with a book. This was no different. C has been a friend for a long long time now and quite a few of my favourite books have come to me through her. Just a couple of months before I left, she gave me an amazing collection of articles which documented the 50 years of South Asian journalism. Every morning in the bus, while taking the 40 minute ride, I used to read the articles one by one and remember the home I left behind.
It was during one of those journeys that I realized why I fell in love with Liverpool in the first place – for football I had Mohun Bagan, for camaraderie I needed to know...
With hope in your hearts
And you'll never walk alone”
I did not walk alone in Singapore, even while trying to be the lone wolf I fancy myself to be.