written, in bits and pieces, at night in a hotel room at bangalore, between the thirteenth chapter of the master and margarita. it's not entirely fiction, for i didn't make up all of it. neither is it quite faithful journalising, and it has nothing to do with literature. well i can possibly call it a letter. of the sort i used to write to people i loved, before we walked away and became cooler and forgot everything.
So let me take you down that alley. Off the ever-bustling road, the business district, away from the English-speaking cosmopolitan crowd, far from the crowd, on an afternoon of clouds and no breeze. Your mouth is red from gulping wine since the morning in the hotel room, alone, in your underwear, deliriously reciting neruda to the patch of rainsky from the window. Your throat is dry, your lips parched, you long for a stretched-out kiss to moisten your stinging tongue. So let me.
This city is very green, unexplored and green, it makes you drunk. Those cool shady patches that you discover, where you sit for hours singing, drawling lines from dylan and leonard cohen, in your drunk voice, your eyes distant like a madman. Here, you don't understand the language they speak. Yes, they will possibly answer back when you address them in the universal, formal tongue, but when they speak among themselves, all you can register is the distinct music of how the words fall, quite differently from your own mothertongue. And you adore it... it's a strange kind of freedom - this not having to hear, know, understand what you don't need to. Not running the risk of spoiling your perfect afternoon by the sudden furious urge to punch the face of the guy in the street who just passed a remark about your woman's breasts. Not experiencing that nauseating feeling of overhearing the people at the streetside shop whisper about Bong wankers as you slurp through your food. It's freedom. You love the way it tastes in your mouth, you savour it till it's intoxicating and sweet.
And so let me take you down that alley. Off the ever-bustling road, the business district, away from the English-speaking cosmopolitan crowd, far from the crowd, on an afternoon of clouds and no breeze. Let me take you down that alley, to that hidden, special book shop in the corner, down its dark, high firstfloor shelves of old musty volumes... there, under the gaze of rows of yellowed Petrarchs and Byrons and Beowulfs,
let us make love.