Of Cabbages and Kings

April 21, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — Chinmayi @ 3:52 pm

I’ve been reading old European fiction again. The trouble with doing this sort of thing (and I do this a lot) is that one’s imagination is populated almost entirely with people from different lands and different times.

You live in a place where the sun burns holes in your feet and dream of silk stockings. You learn that you are supposed to help the elderly, but you have to pass them sleeping on the street everyday and look on helplessly.

Going to Europe was like a homecoming. Things are somehow right there. You don’t raise your voice. Men tell you that you are beautiful if they think so and it doesn’t mean that they are being creepy. There are flowers growing everywhere. Everybody seems to love wine, music and dark chocolate. There is poetry plastered all over trains and a musician in every corner.

Aggression and pushiness are frowned upon. And people are direct but very pleasantly so. There’s no syrupy exaggeration or stupid wide-eyed naivete. Just a down-to-earth practicality. Everybody reads at least a little. The television is much too expensive to be a national pass-time.

I know that it must take young countries many years to catch up with ancient undisturbed civilisations. And that some amount of shouting and elbowing must happen before we settle down. But I do miss the peace and quiet sometimes.


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