Yet another trigger of memories.
On lonely nights, I am reminded of my first weeks in Singapore. In retrospect, ten months isn’t long enough to get nostalgic, and rather illogical it is when you are still at the place you’re getting nostalgic about. It’s not the place, it’s just the time, and why I cannot say, because these weeks are more enriching and fulfilling than the ones when I was a fresh import, first time away from home for an indefinitely long period. In a different country, for goodness’ sake! How did I even imagine I’d survive?
Survive I did. I have paid a price in terms of forfeiting some of my fetish for solitude and loneliness, but I don’t really mind, because I think I can return to what I was whenever I choose to. Independence is good when you use it prudently.
The fragrance of face wash, in this case, was the culprit. I bought this tube of Pond’s face wash in my first month here, when we were still using soap and shampoo carted all the way from India, with neither enough confidence in nor enough money for ‘imported’ products. Those were the days when the only literature at home was the few women’s magazines the landlady had left behind- glossy pages splashed across with slender women dressed in gowns and clothes that I do not have names for, the everpresent stories of splits and heartbreaks, recipes to cook creatures that I’d probably barely heard of.
Everything was new and exciting, and while the novelty has admittedly worn off and sometimes the long hours can seem interminable, I do not for a moment regret having chosen to come here- getting away from home for a spell can do you a great deal of good, and you can shape yourself, learn who you are, figure out what you want, without being bothered constantly by the ‘helpful’ opinions of the unknown people who live across the street and think they have a right to your life just because they have seen you walk to the bus-stop every morning for six long years.
I am alone, and I like it this way. This morning, for sure, I wouldn’t exchange my solitude for anything in the world.