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. The photograph and the piece so much complement each other, the reader gets transported to the scene drawn by you.

  2. 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 ! :)))

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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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