City Vox Popili – A Life in Arpita’s Day, Delhi
As part of The Delhi Walla series asking citizens to “write down everything you did in one day.” Send yours in 400 words max to email@example.com
[Photo by Aditya Ahuja]
[By Arpita Chowdhury, a writer, poet, journalist in Delhi.]
“The lover’s fatal identity is precisely this: ‘I am the one who waits.’” ― Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments.
Yes! I am the person who waits…but not for someone people might presume. I wake up; I wait for calmness, which might never come. My body works like a robot when it comes to doing the mundane activities that make you a ‘good girl.’ It’s called following a routine. Is it the right thing to do? Who knows? For me, it is just an addition to the chaos of my mind. The wait continues.
A large mug of chai makes me really happy, so I have that first. Then, I pick up the newspaper and read it cover to cover. Well, that’s again a routine. Afterward, I end up scrolling through social media — maybe a time-waste, but it helps sometimes. I get a lot of ideas. I saw a post that said, ‘maybe you are living the time that you once dreamt of.’ A rush of dopamine runs through my body, and I feel happy for a while, but only for a while.
I am more of a ‘stay-in’ person. Unless I have to go to my office, which is where you’ll mostly find me, I like to sleep at home and have my chai all day long. Most importantly, I wait. No matter how painful…but I wait.
“Stand in the sun,” says my mother. I go and stand. Delhi’s sunshine feels different. I do feel happy and warm, but the question of what’s next eats up most of that happiness.
I always need some work to do. Sitting idle is not my cup of tea. So, I take my blanket and laptop, sit in an almost sleeping position, and I start writing.
I watched a movie recently that moved me, so I write about it and send it to various places for it to get published. Then I wait. The wait always continues.
Oh yes!! I washed up my hair too. So, I wait for it to dry until it reaches a point where I can tie it up with a clutcher. Then I sit and think…I think about things. From world affairs to random love songs of which I only remember the first four words. Then, someone sent a text message saying, “You’re too young; try to enjoy your life.” I agree! But then a reel pops up on my phone, where this famous stand-up comedian and writer Zakir Khan says, and I translate, “When you keep leaving what you like and keep doing what is right, then understand that you have grown up, and childhood has died.” And I can’t agree more.
I eat dinner and go back to sleep looking forward to another day of waiting.