So I went to Oxford Street today to buy a new suitcase. Of course, being me and despite having been there countless times, I still walked in the wrong direction for about 10 minutes before I reached Marble Arch and realized what was going on. I legged it back, enjoying the warm, sunny evening and the busy vibe – not chaotic as it is on weekends. There were still enough out-of-towners to make it look like the busiest shopping street in the most visited city in Europe. They just didn’t get in the way as much. Walking on Oxford Street is like being in one of those movies where the camera assumes the role of the bewildered protagonist and people wearing all sorts of things go past one by one. Dogs too. And the occasional pigeon. You also pick up snatches of foreign languages coming at you all at once, from all sides and before you can assimilate it, they’ve rushed by only to make way for another.
Apart from the suitcase, I also bought a small green tea-light holder in the shape of a bird cage and a pink lamp as a treat to myself. Congratulating myself because I had the sense to purchase the correct bulb too, I fixed it up at home. My apartment looks softly lit. Both tea-light holders (the new one and the old aluminium “bucket” with a heart cut out) have little candles dancing in them. The clock is ticking away quietly – it’s more than an hour ahead and keeps on “gaining time”. The smoke detector beeps every once in a while because I haven’t replaced its battery. The sound used to annoy me at first but now I don’t even notice it. Mom and Pop and Vinit are all smiling at me from photos. My clutter is lying all about. I can see all my favourite books on the shelves in front of me. All my travel guides too. And my kindle. And the Duchess with her basket. And my pal, Eli is right next to me.