Yesterday was my last day at my most favourite job in the 4 and a half years that I have been working. And while I had my ups and downs, it was a good way to say goodbye. A lunchfull of shrimp curry with the boss, some mindblowing emails, and hugs and niceties, some genuine, some customary, but all of it really good. Sometimes the returns of a good, mostly happy time at work goes beyond that promotion and hike (and I am in no way giving up on that promotion and hike because, well, just niceties won’t get me as far as I would ideally like to go), and sometimes that is all it takes to get closure. Yes, I treat work like a relationship. I take my heart to it and let it engulf me even as I go on and on about work life balance. I still think that answering a couple of emails on weekends or thinking about work in the shower doesn’t harm my balance. My first priority at work is to be able to enjoy it enough to not want to stop thinking about it. Where I draw the line, is my call. And I do a pretty good job of it, I think.

 So yes, when I got home from work yesterday, I lay on the bed, stared at the ceiling, and felt like one would, after a break up that happened with mutual consent. Not upset, not angry, just empty in ways that I cannot describe. But I had a date last night, a much deserved time out with the love of my life, the cosmic twin, the soulmate, the chai-biryani-music-Bombay-sea-Capricorn loving Thakur. She has been in Bangalore for a while now, but I never got around to going to her house because ever since she came here, my life has been in a constant state of flux. First the big Patna-Ranchi vacation, and then the whole sell-pack-ticket-document madness. So last night, I went to her place, and the woman lives in a palace by city standards. Her house is a rajputana bungalow inside an apartment building, with fixtures and windows and curtains and lamps from another era. It was like being in a Neemrana resort, just without having to be quiet and disciplined. We had some adrak ki chai, and spoke about simpler times. We watched Doordarshan videos and ads from the 80s and 90s when Aamir Khan was lame and Shah Rukh was hot and we knew names of Greek God models and could sing ad jingles in our sleep. We spoke of times when we liked people, were not so guarded, about our first jobs (hers was in a historic bookstore in Bombay – the woman kills me!), families, trippy ancestral havelis, and what we learned from things that seemed like the end of the world when they happened. And that is when we realized that we are getting very, very old, although we are aging as gracefully as we always wanted to. We realized that it was no longer the nightlife that we love a city for, it is for the peace and calm and happiness that we get out of it. That we may not want to live in Bombay again, but it has Marine Drive and Bandstand where she heard Agni play recently and I heard a college band play trippy music a long time ago, and for that alone, Bombay is BRILLIANT. And then, my rockstar dost got her guitar out, and sang and played some of the best raw, soulful music that I have heard in a long, long time. It was her version of The Dewarists and I liked it so much more because it was so much more real. We gorged on biryani, popcorn, and apple juice (aging gracefully, remember?). And then Thakur’s friend S went out of her way to drop me home after midnight, and I wondered just how many awesome people there are in the world, and what makes them so warm, so giving, and so, so positive.

What a way to celebrate a break up! It had “happiness is in the small things” written all over it. And as long as I remember that, I will be happy, peaceful, and awesome no matter where I live. Like I said, 2012 will be about being young, inexperienced, and more open, but it will also be about aging gracefully, and about people and places. I am all set to get a year closer to the big 30, in ways that I never thought existed.

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