Alternate Realities

I am thinking of the different worlds we inhabit.

Some weeks ago, when I was ill and spent most of the day in bed reading a book, my world was carved by the writer whose book I dissolved into, and it needed a physical act like having lunch or going out to the balcony to bring me back in touch with the real world.

Then, as I got better and spent more time in front of the computer at home, reading other bloggers and thinking about what they’d written and also writing a bit myself, the attachment to this medium – with all those real people at the other end communicating through their journals – was intense enough to make me believe that I could live comfortably in a closed room with only a computer for companionship.

Last week – a busy one where each day I woke up, went to work, came back late and went straight to bed – I seemed to occupy a different dimension: one with rows of parked cars, long corridors, small rooms and serious faces.

I am thinking of these alternate worlds as I walk through the busy Hauptstrasse in Heidelberg this foggy Saturday morning. It is my first visit to this place after my return from India, and this street – with its glossy shop windows, its old buildings radiating the typical European charm, and the stream of white faces flowing all around – is such a strong contrast to the image of the typical Bangalore street I still have in mind that I feel like a fish that has been picked from the sea and placed into an aquarium.


You enter some worlds fully aware you are doing so; others develop unnoticed, surround you, and leave you breathless when you take notice.

You enter some worlds to escape; others offer no way out – all roads lead back to them, eventually.

You cling to some worlds, never wanting to leave; others cling to you, don’t leave you alone.

You sometimes create a world; others enter it; some others destroy it.

I am thinking of the different worlds we inhabit.

15 thoughts on “Alternate Realities

  1. does a fish in a fish tank really see anything other than the immediate tank ?
    You were more like a whale beached near some sun-bathers i think ! :)))

  2. Leela, yes this aspect is a cause for concern (especially if one is not aware of it). But going by the recent past, it seems likely that the balance between online and real-time interactions will continue to shift towards the former. This is another topic altogether; I may write about it sometime.

    Patrix: Welcome back? I came back weeks ago. Cheerier? Whatever made you think things were not cheerful enough?

    Loosemuse: Did you spot any sun-bathers in that photos?! And yes, I was lost in one of my worlds, and “wife” was not too pleased about it.

  3. I loved Heidelberg. My friends actually lived on Hauptstrasse, and I looked out on, walked around in, the scene you described for a week.

    What a gorgeous little city.

    All the worlds we have inhabited become a lasting part of our stories.

  4. elck: Heidelberg is a charming city, and a walk along Hauptstrasse is something I look forward to each week. Living there with a window that looks out into the street would be a treat (lucky you); I’d probably spend all evening looking out.

  5. yes parmanu i tried – but then they seem to be too well clothed ! 🙂
    But then i cud not see the aquarium too ! :))

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