Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Covid lockdown writing Monday 23rd March: Downtown

Paint yourself a fantasy life scenario with the help of the lyrics of a chosen song.
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When you're alone and life is making you lonely
You can always go - downtown.
When you've got worries all the noise and the hurry
Seems to help I know downtown.
Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?
The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
So go downtown
Things will be great when you're downtown
No finer place for sure downtown
Everything's waiting for you.
I am neither alone or lonely, and there is no downtown to go to at the moment.
But, in my mind, we can watch a play at India Habitat Centre, followed by dinner with friends in Khan Market or at one of Lodi Colony’s tony new restaurants. Or just a romantic dinner for the two of us…
If that is too far to go, (and Delhi’s borders are sealed, by the way, in reality, not in my fantasy world), we can always drive down to The DLF Mall of India and watch a movie. Irfan’s latest, English Medium, was released last week, with reasonably decent reviews. (And then the movie halls closed down). This particular mall also has two decent bookshops, so perhaps we can go and browse there. And a quick potter in Fabindia, maybe, just to see what’s new.
Don't hang around and let your problems surround you
There are movie shows downtown.
Maybe you know some little places to go to
Where they never close downtown.
Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle bossa nova
You'll be dancing with 'em too before the night is over
Happy again.
The downtown of my youth was Connaught Place, where a bunch of us would scrounge through our pockets, and pool in our meagre resources for coffee at India Coffee House, keeping aside our bus fare home, of course. The first discotheque we knew of was The Cellar. Going there meant an occasion, or a rich friend who could treat you to a meal and a dance out there. The five star hotels had their discos, but they were too rarefied for us to ever aspire to. Dancing was more likely at our college festivals, or cast parties after the annual college play. And as adults, colony dos, club shindigs, new year parties. One time, on holiday in Goa, we won a prize for the liveliest couple on the floor, two pairs of two left feet notwithstanding…
And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you
Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to
Guide them along.
So maybe I'll see you there
We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares
So go downtown
Things will be great when you're downtown
Don't wait a minute more, downtown
Everything’s waiting for you
We are both senior citizens. After all the housework sans helper and accompanying fatigue, a very satisfying downtown would be our favourite local Chinese restaurant, a mere 4-5 kilometres away. I can see us enjoying our favourite soups and dimsums, while we decide on our main course. I think that’s the first downtown we’ll opt for, when life comes back to normal.
Please, Life, please?

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