City- the word is tiny; implications are numerous. Lets start from the ever beloved cliche of ‘making dreams come true’. The City is a favorite setting for those looking to go from rags to riches; yet it can also be a grave witness of downfalls, from heights to being homeless. The City is like the city-dweller: aggressive, multifaceted, always lively and never alone, yet lonely as one can be.. They may wave and wish and smile yet you sometimes wish it was half as genuine as it appears to be..Different shops have the same brands, different streets have branches of the same shops, yet every street if unique, every shop booming with activity. There are more pedestrians than cars in the City and more cars than any other living species, except perhaps pet dogs… City dogs are a delight to gaze at- they are seen strutting along with the same gaiety as old Earls or Counts going for rounds across their land. The functions are similar too; there are not a lot of expectations from those who know them but they inexplicably enjoy their lives in the lap of luxury. How might the skyscrapers seem to them, I wonder? Do they feel like a Lilliput too? If I ever had a pet dog or any pet for that matter, while living in the City, I’m sure I’d transmit vibes of Lilliput-inferiority onto it when I take them for a walk; I hope that doesn’t happen… The yellow cabs move around the various streets like old worn out leopards. This concrete jungle even roars unanimously; rather, the dragon in the underground cave roars. You hear it every time you walk past the manhole or the slab covering an opening into the dragon’s lair. You hear it huffing and puffing and you wonder at how activity mirrors above and below the ground. The traffic, is a well oiled machinery that moves, stops, waits and moves again, repeating the rhythm that has echoed for decades since the establishment of traffic lights. These lights seem as if they are made up of starlight- white, yellow, red- enclosed in a box. This starlight governs the life and and times of the city-dwellers much like the stars in the sky are said to govern the lives of men. It IS the starlight of the city-dweller, perhaps his favorite one as the real stars remain hidden behind the neck-hurting heights of concrete. Here cultures meet, languages die and creoles are born. Grey is the Green; trees are as rare to find as an idle person. The City has a fierce beauty, a forceful charm that is shoved into your face, that you cannot ignore. There’s less to look and more to see, less to listen and more to hear. As enticing as it is, activity and artificiality for me gets tiring after a while.
There is one thing though- the City doesn’t make me feel.
This is no place for melancholy and there’s even less space for peace and silence. No emotion, just existence. During the times when I prefer that, I feel glad to be here. That’s when I see it as less of a jungle and more of a .. well, busy space.
Written at Starbucks, 55th and Lexington.
Inspired by New York City.