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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Balajinagar...Bangalore..India

The last time i posted something on my blog was in August, long long ago...I was in India, then went to Paris, and now i am back to Lebanon, so i decided to start blogging again. I want my first post after this long absence to be about India, about these unforgettable 6 month i spent there. I want this post to be a tribute to a wonderful country, to the kind people over there, to my irreplaceable friends i met in Bangalore...

"So full is your presence...so radical is your absence", I love this expression of Simone de Beauvoir to Jean Paul Sartre.. it summarizes a lot of things that we have been through..that is how i felt when i left my home in India..the change was so radical, suddenly everything disappeared, moments lived became memories that we struggle to keep, dearest friends became digital photos we look at, we try to speak to them, to create conversations that could have happened. The lively noise and chaos suddenly go away and you start to hate the quite peace in your mind that you always wanted...like everything was a day dream...

Balajinagar is the street in which i lived, Bangalore is the city and India is the country...
I hate morning routines yet i want to have them, they give me an illusion of identity, of stability and uniqueness. In Balajinagar i had my own routine, wake up in the morning, wash my face, go down to the micro-size shop near the house to be 2 King cigarettes, and Hide and Seek biscuits.. then i go back to the house and prepare my morning turkish coffee and listen to Fairuz.. it was my own way of blending my happy time in India with the nostalgia of Lebanon.. it was my way of living my day by listening with enchantment to the sound of chaos, recomposing it in order to become the music to which fairuz will sing...



In Balajinagar, in Bangalore or like the residents like to say "my Bangalore" i was a foreigner, a stranger but never felt like one..maybe i am mistaken, or for sure i was mistaken, but it didn't matter to me. I had that sweet feeling or illusion of belonging, of attachment, i regained that sweet fragrance and sense of home.. you know what i mean? this feeling i had lost 5 years ago when i left my parents house to go to Beirut..i lost home, home was for me the pain of injury while playing football in the village, the smell of oranges, the sound of oil being made in our backyard, the snails i smashed when i was a child, the feeling of lightness when walking in the street...in Bangalore, i regained this relief of home, it was different, it was the sound of the traffic jam, the smiles of the kind people in our street, the kurta i wear from time to time, the milk coffee by the corner, the basketball games in college, the fragrance of spice... and more..

I traveled a lot, and every time it was like a miracle, a new country, and endless amazement... but it was always great to come back to Balajinagar..

I am not used to posting such personal notes on my blog, but bear with me, maybe it will not be the only one. Travelling for a long period does things to people..it will make you realize that there is no such thing is a homeland (watan) to which we should be patriotic and loyal. you travel, and you leave some of yourself in the people you love and the places you were..you leave something, but also you loose something of your being...something that you will never regain... i don't know what it is...but no matter what, it is always worth..

Once a dear friend told me: "I like to travel more often to meet people like you, was it in a dream that i met you? maybe, but the most important thing is that we should not allow the coincidence to let us forget that the most beautiful moment is what we are living now...maybe..." back in India i always realized that the most beautiful moment was what that which i was living there..and now..



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