A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.
– Joan Didion
The year was 2000. The city was Bangalore. I remember speeding through the roads in the dark, the lamp posts casting eerie shadows ahead of me. The roads near empty. I was young, free, unattached. As the roads wound and turned, the wheels eating up the distance between an evening uncharacteristically fun and the safe space I called home I remember thinking this was the way to live. Sans fear. Sans judgement.
I was 24. I had dreams in my eyes. I was hopelessly optimistic about my future. I believed I could change the world. My world. The millennium was upon us. Euphoria was in the air. That year in Bangalore moulded who I was. It shaped me. It bolstered my confidence and made me feel invincible. For the first time in my life I felt free. Free from fears of what the future would bring. Free from shackles of how I should live my life. I made peace with my single status and went about establishing the life I wanted. My home. My space. My life. I dared to change status quo. I left the security of a corporate job to work with a startup. I made new friends, explored new places and experienced a life I had dreamed of. It was heady. The financial freedom and being accountable to no one but myself. For once I refused to apologize for who I was and how I lead my life. I discovered music. The kind that made me close my eyes and transported me to a world that existed only in my head. I flirted with words. My emails boasted clever subjects and witty one liners. I discovered pun. I cast off the shadows from my past.
For once, I lived in the present. Not looking back. Not looking forward.