Peco’s, Second Right from Brigade Road

Artwork by Priyadarshini Sivakumar

Two beer mugs down and significantly tipsy, she sits at her laptop thanking Steve Jobs  in her heart for the technological marvel that Mac is, looking up at a TV screen that’s telecasting the recent assembly elections and wonders if she’s taken the right decision – the occupational hazard of being a marginally intelligent young adult. The isolation that a new city brought was delicious and heartbreaking in equal parts. Sitting alone at a remote corner of an unobtrusive pub, hidden from the roving eyes, the milling crowd, the blur of nameless faces, the ebbing incandescence of dirty city lights and the badly tuned drone of voices don’t make a difference to her because she’s writing. After a year of struggling with that void every artist holds on to because it is all that defines him after a point in time? All that helps him transcend the mediocrity of his existence. The frustration that comes with taking a pen and a paper and cutting yourself bit by bit, spilling a little blood here and there, the raw odour of sweat and musk of skin, the music in her bones and the tingling in her sinews, a step closer to her “magnum opus”.

And then enters the Bangalorean biker / journo, “You’re only 19!?”

Yes, the man’s been warned. Keep those beer goggles in check, will you?

Four pints down and a plate of Coorgi (the Coorgis are the only people in India allowed to own firearms without a permit. They also make excellent, albeit spicy pork sausages) later, she makes her way back home. Walking through unfamiliar streets, Bonobo on the loop, her walk has a new purpose, a new gait – it’s the walk of freedom, of fractured confident, of hesitant self-discovery, of grudging acceptance. She gets back home to a chilled glass of Chenin Blanc, the trusty pack of Classic Milds and the foreign city air lashing across the cheek. Tongue on frozen steel. She embraces the cold, biting unfamiliarity and accepts that resilience is indeed, a perilous vice.