Vice versa: on aloneness in Mumbai
The city is too big for two people that miss one another all the time. Each of these is anyone who could be someone to the other.
She has seen him in coffeeshops studying, and him her at nightclubs, dancing with another man. They are not specific to one another, not before meeting, not yet. Today each saw the other in the street, each walking to a place where they had to be. They’re far apart, and come close only in moments. Each doesn’t know who the other is, only hopes for the most of every interaction with someone else.
When she has been with several friends, hoping to meet him at a quiet gathering of people, he’s been at a loud gathering of people. Dancing wildly and wishing for something to happen that cannot. When he’s been at meetings, hoping for something to change in his life, she’s been absent: with others at some meeting place or with herself at home.
He misses the angles of her fingers. She misses the arches of his feet. The souls of his feet.
They’ve searched for one another in the crowded trains, in the bare streets. In the earlobes of others, in their intentions and caresses. In emptiness they search for fullness, and are surprised when they can’t find it!
When she’s been out, he’s been in. And vice versa.
When she has been alone and wondering, he is temporarily distracted. Hopeful for something that he doesn’t really believe in, wanting something that doesn’t exist, but still.
When his needs have been taken care of, hers have been abandoned. He is disallowed when she is encouraged. Her sighs are long, his are brief, abrupt, misplaced, cut off. Her frustration wanes when his peaks.
And vice versa.