May was not to be

Gladstone Park

A whole month without a post – it feels as if I’ve packed all the words and sentences in a hurry into various boxes, wrapped them in blankets and naphthalene balls (mothballs). Each time I attempt unpacking (the words, forget the THINGS), I find the wrong container and the resulting frustration makes giving up the easy option.

Well, I have moved all of 120 miles east from where I used to be – Bristol to London. Many of my relatives in India could never understand me not living anywhere else – some would always refer to me as living in London. Some even presumed Bristol was a suburb in the outskirts of this imperial metropolis with plenty of reminders to colonial India. To them, I’ve finally arrived.

Not the one outside Calcutta, but in leafy Hampstead

So, I’m going through a period of transition – it’s a fairly big one when you consider I’d lived over twenty years in the green surroundings of Bristol. My initial observations of where I am now are still a mixture whose ingredients are hard to recognise. There’s hustle and bustle – the Melting Pot is on my doorstep. Anything from samosas, baklavas to Italian delicacies are a mere stone’s throw away. There’s cramped living conditions but wide open spaces to breathe freely close by. The general level of acceptance of newcomers is high – people automatically switch to speaking in Hindi when I go to the post office or beauty salon. And there’s a definite sense of community in the writing group at the local library and amongst the volunteer gardeners at the local park.

Kosher Indian restaurant in Golders Green – now closed.

London has never been an unfamiliar place, there’s always been a reason to visit  – from the cool vibe of the Southbank to the excitement of Wimbledon each year. Just walking from Victoria, I’d have to pass Buckingham Palace as I headed towards Piccadilly. I’ve never wanted to be anything more than a regular tourist in this city until now. A month is over and sooner or later I might need to acclimatise properly. I’m happy to wait…

Cheapside – the unfortunate address of the uncle of the Misses Bennett in Pride and Prejudice

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