Thursday, April 21, 2005


Philadelphia is a city where you find the dwellers gripped by a recurring sense of having lived the exact moment a while back in their life. The same conversation, same person with a smirk on his face, same weather and precisely when your neighbour locked his apartment to leave and the mayor was having a nightmare of his house being bugged by the FBI. Or you could listen to the jumbled voices from radio discussing Dali and the death of a Jazz singer in your car while a black man walked across the street with a beer bottle in hand.

It's a city that has been aging ever since Ben Franklin had a dream that on the day of his funeral leaders, 34 ministers, preachers, priests & at least one rabbi marching arm in arm behind his casket as it was being carried to the gravesite. He further had another dream of Liberty Bell crumbling.

If you sit in one of the chairs in the old assembly hall of the constituion house, after climbing up the sturdy wooden stairs you could still sense the rustle of tunic and sombreros worn by your fellow legislators. Perhaps you could still argue with them to make Gujarat the 51st federal state.

If you walk down the center city streets along the sun soaked brick buildings, you could meet the travellers from neighbour cities who were afflicted by a bout of insomnia, lost in the constitutional walking tour of philadelphia. Or if you cruise down to the inner city via delaware river, you could find Lila, the aging and desperate wharf-bar pickup and hone your skills on ruminations of life and civilization to something understandable and real before you sail back out of the outer seas again.

Going further back out to the north of the city, you would find Mr. George Tharakan getting out of his Mercedes Benz in suit into his four bedroom house and later coming out in lungie to inspect his fence he shared with his fellow native. If you glance through his family album, you would find him wearing the exact same lungie inspecting his fence on a similar sunny evening in Thiruvalla, Kerala.

1 comment:

k a n u r i t e said...

heh.. that indeed is Philadelphia.. and somehow I still love the city for what it is.. I love my walks through the museum area .. or south street..or old city... or Penns landing.. and I couldnt wait till i went to the Dali exhibit.. its a city where hoagies co-exists peacefully with exotic cheesecakes :-)

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