On my first day of every trip back home, I pick up a dusty pair of green suede shoes from under the stairs. Inspite of efforts to keep them in good shape, time has worn them out. The little label that says POWER is still there on the sides. But the soles are coming off, the olive green has gone to a dust-mixed-with-green colour, and they can be worn only in dry weather. I still use them on every one of my random daily walks though.
It's surprising how attached you can get to some things, and how much you end up loving them even though they are long past throw-away time. This one for me is a reminder of a wonderful year. Of running behind crowded Bangalore buses to make it in time for those weekend meetups. Of standing outside a theater on MG for a Rs. 50 front-stall ticket. Of Chinese food at a little restaurant on the first floor. Of aimless walks down the main roads. Of getting wet in the rain. Of daily trips to the office holding a newspaper in one hand and a water bottle in the other. Of strawberry smoothies and chocolate fantasies in the cafe below. Of walking through malls buying nothing, eating something, talking everything. Of sitting on bikes that don't belong to you. Of rickshaw rides that cost the earth. Of one-day trips that never cost the earth. Of early mornings at the bus station. Of ice creams and milkshakes.
And among all this, of someone who taught me that no matter how you felt yesterday, or how you will feel tomorrow, all that's important in your life is the way you're feeling - right now.