I use the phrase "There was a time" way too much for someone barely past 30 years of age (fine, fine - 336 days, to be precise). But there was indeed a time, when our greatest epiphanies were recorded either on the nearest scrap of paper nearby, or often on a hastily-opened Document1.docx.
Remember that one where I was worried about losing my sense of wonder while walking through LKP? Thank God that hasn't happened yet. And I ran back to the library, opened up a Document1, forgetting about an upcoming surprise quiz, just to scribble that down. Or this one, written with more lactic acid than blood in my calves, after a peak-winter pre-dawn cycle race that in hindsight, sounds like the kind of madness that happens in sitcoms about community college and not real educational institutions. (Obligatory #SixSeasonsAndAMovie callout)
In somehow managing to become both busier and lazier over the years, I've lost the habit of recording these little anecdotes. I've moaned about unfinished drafts before, but even a draft takes some effort to put down. But thankfully, those great epiphanies haven't dried up - they still rear their wispy heads up in the middle of long walks, or longer Whatsapp conversations.
It was in the middle of one of the latter that I realised I hadn't had my regular identity crises for a while. The one that hits every time I'm forced to introduce myself to new people at work - my name's Murty, and I'm basically from - umm... Vizag? Somewhere near Delhi? Wait, I identify most with Delhi, but not the one you love to hate now, the Delhi from the 90s was different. We had blue skies and Appu Ghar! Oh, you want me to move on with the presentation? Right, so, yeah, market share's going down, like my sense of being...
Locked down at home for another year has meant not meeting as many new people, even at work. Or even the little stone-in-stomach moments on the way to work - I don't have to apologise for not speaking Kannada to cab drivers, and slipping into Telugu worse than 3rd generation Bangaloreans'. Worrying at work that my English sounds too Delhi, and on the way back that my Hindi does just as much. What should my accent be? Am I more me when I extend my vowels, or am I more acceptable if I pronounce "H" as "hetch"?
Over the last 18 months, I've made more puns in Marathi than I've watched Telugu movies - here's a punch-by-punch summary:
- How do you ask for a quickie in Marathi? Laukar love kar.
- Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya was beautiful, and made me regret not being to Aruku yet again.
- What do you call a hipster crowd in Marathi? Avant gardi.