Changes

Clean, pollutant free air.

Minimal sound of traffic and vehicles.

Grown ups, very civilised with a non interfering social conduct.

Lovers safe to love openly. Mother free to feed openly.

Teen kids, giving the impression they want to mess around, but really, don’t do shit. 

Never ending columns in super markets and rows to enter night clubs.

Everything low on spice. Nothing is 'khatta'. Puddings are not desserts. 

 

Everything you already know, but some more.

 

The painful silence when you wake up.

Clean, bright, cold daylight. Not warm, cold daylight.

 

First week it is just eggs, bread and cheese,

for all three meals. 

 

Unlock your rickety second-hand bicycle

and get on with the day, 

stay on the ‘left’ side 

and on the cycle lanes, marked in red.

 

University, with almost too proper class rooms, 

even the mess feels, beautifully kept.

 

Real cool class coordinators and head of departments,

that you will meet now at the end of the semester. 

Real cool.

 

Courses so unstructured you miss the constraints you grew up in.

Too much freedom that suddenly does not seem so utopian.

 

All your youtube ads are now in a foreign language.

Even the sponsored facebook ones.

Your feed now is filled with new information by people from everywhere.

(Columbia, Korea, Canada, Indonesia, Bolivia, Germany and etc)

You see the likes and dislikes of your new friends and trust me 

its all very enlightening. All of it.

 

You start to follow traffic rules as a pedestrian for the first time in your life,

and within a few weeks you give dirts to the ones who break it.

 

Changes.

 

In the beginning, supermarkets are a maze and you a lost cause.

In a few months, you know your way through the shelfs, and your products.

 

Drinking is great, beer is cheaper than water,

Wine is cheaper than vodka and whiskey. 

Works for me. Drinking is great.

Its not sweaty or sticky like it can get in India. 

But then it is also not as loud or eventful.

 

I remember drinking late into the nights, into the early mornings, 

when the morning namaz would start to play out of loud speakers.

We finally knew we had to call it a day, or maybe head for chai.

 

But hey, after all the drinking, I can cycle back to my place,

in the middle of the night, without fear. 

I can’t remember the one time in the last few months 

when I felt I was being surveyed by the eyes of men or women.

Not once in these strange new changes have I been questioned or remarked for anything, 

because I am woman. Its so fresh and liberating. 

 

Work is easy. life is relaxed

but the struggle is real, when you don’t belong.

You finally understand the pricelessness of being at home,

when you are not at one. Its so bloody ironic.

 

No howling of street dogs (where did they all go?)

No all nighter bhajans. No noise from street brawls.

And that painful silence when you are about to sleep.