You know that weird calm, even in the face of disappointment? That urge to smile, knowing fully well Murphy has you, and he has you good? The strange solace you feel, despite things not going the way you imagined? It’s what happened after I stepped out a third time, to head to the only store in Panjim where I can buy me a decent pair of fancy sandals. All three times, something prevented me from actually going there, picking said pair of shoes and coming back like a happy camper.
But some times the odds just don’t stack up the way they ought to. A massive urge for new shoes, just one store that can satisfy the urge, and three failed attempts to get to the store. Yep, some times a girl can’t just head out and buy a pair of shoes on a whim!
The last attempt was made last evening. Sunday. Diwali weekend. I’d have thought its as good a time as any for stores in Panjim’s shopping hub to stay open. Afterall, aren’t people all out to buy stuff around Diwali time? But I was wrong. The street wore a look worse than ghost town, with only a few random stores with their shutters open. Nothing that interested me. Nobody selling pretty shoes. Momentarily, we cussed. Muttered under our breath. Goddamn this place, I thought. It really shouldn’t be so hard, I pressed, between clenched teeth. And after much silent and pointless venting frustration and then I did what seemed most logical. We went to the nearest place we could catch a drink.
I found myself rationalising the weird turn of luck we had had. Still shoe-less, but sipping on fresh-lime-gin-and-sodas, and chowing down bruschetta, I couldn’t complain anymore. It was a hot, hot day and that drink was more than I could ask for. The view, the setting-sun light that set everything aglow and the lazy Sunday evening feel, even more so.
For all the massive explosions of change that I notice around me, even as I sat in the balcony with cars zipping by, thinking about how this wasn’t so even just one year ago, I realised there is solace. In the fact that some things won’t change. The malls, they can come and go, but buying a decent pair of shoes will still be an effort. The traffic, it can swell and burst at the seams, but a Sunday evening will feel lazy and empty. Drinking addas will renovate and revamp themselves time and again, but it will still be possible to eat and drink and have a perfectly wonderful few hours and run up a bill under Rs. 500. It is still possible to drive around, with an agenda and have that agenda change by forces beyond your control. And it is possible to find yourself at a location you didn’t plan to, and still have a good time without burning a hole in your pocket. We’re not ready to let go of the good old life just yet.
Change, it comes and goes. But there was solace in knowing that some things are still hanging on by a thread. Some things just wont change. And our priorities for one, just don’t seem to want to. This place I call home sometimes tests my patience. Frustrates me. But it also reaches me comfort. And patience. Makes me count the precious (and intangible) things I have gained and shows me a weird kind of make-do-with-what-you-have kind of gratitude. And just like that I felt like that pair of shoes could wait a while longer.