So, the day I had been waiting for the last 26 months finally arrived yesterday. I have now officially left Small City Shamli.
26 months is a long time, trust me a long time, to stay in a place that you started hating from the first minute you set your foot there.
Those stupid bullock carts, those loud mouth sugarcane farmers, that f***ed up apartment in which I stayed… I’m glad that I will not be seeing any of them again.
(Calming myself down)
Okay, I admit. I do have a few good memories of Shamli.
I will miss our Saturday trips to the Bigg Bazar in Panipat to stock up on supplies. Somehow, we always returned drunk with the most useless items in our big plastic bags. I still do not know why I bought a Monopoly.
I will also miss the awesome chicken of New Delhi Darbar and the evening dosas at Milan Point. I also enjoyed the occasional visit to the Hanuman Dham and Sai Mandir. They were the only places where you could escape the noise and chaos of the city. Shamli taught me how relaxing even simple small temples can be.
And yes, I will miss the few friends I made there.
An interesting thing happened yesterday night when I took them out for dinner and to bid goodbye to them. I thought I’ll be a bit emotional. I wasn’t. Maybe that’s because Delhi is not that far away and they can visit me anytime. Or maybe the food at my farewell dinner at Pind Balluchi (Sonepat) was far too tempting for me to care.
But most of all, I guess it was because as a backpacker and as a person with a job that involves a lot of relocating, I am used to leaving friends behind and moving on. I had done it in Roorkee, Dehradun, and Kolkata and now I did it in Shamli. From the past experiences, I know we will try to keep in touch, but as time will pass, we will hear less and less of each other. That is just the way it goes and I’m fine with it. I am not a heartless robot but I have turned into a person who now has a much easier time dealing with stuff like this. I hope that we keep in touch, but I know deep down I know that we won’t.
But yes, I have made a few promises that I will be back to attend their weddings and as on today, I intend to keep those promises. So I guess even though this is the end, this might not be the end. (That sentence did not make any sense !)
And yes, this is the last post of “Life in a Small City” and in order not to sound like an ungrateful idiot, I will thank the people of Shamli for not killing me in the communal riots and to the village school that invited me as their Chief Guest (Cheap Guest) on Children’s Day.
I will also like to thank my friends, all three of them, who made my life a lot easier in this otherwise horrible city and I promise them that if they are ever in Delhi and can’t finish a deep dish pizza, I will come and finish it off for them because that’s what friends do.
Goodbye Small City Shamli
Hope to see you again someday… but as a visitor and not as a regular resident.