random faces in the crowd

Why is that fleeting random faces in the crowd make such a lasting impression on me. It is the people I ‘ve heard or seen the shortest that I remember the longest.

The homeless guy asking for loose change on the subway, the senile lady standing at the corner of tremont ave. & grand concourse handing out pamphlets proclaiming that the kingdom of god was coming soon, the long haired – suited old dude skating n swaying to music on the ice rink at Rockefeller center, the guy who stoops in the middle of the road to pick up a half finished butt of newport menthol,the bored conductor in the subway station reading magazines and staring idly at the people,the guy who roams from compartment to compartment preaching how lord Jesus Christ reformed him of his life long crack addiction,the candy man, the high school kids yelling ‘what time is it ? it’s show time’ and breaking into gravity defying moves, the drummer who beat the shit outta their instruments, the overly perfumed and the overly accessorized,the loud talkers,the government cursers,  the sophisticated phonies discussing politics/ art/drama/movies/books/restaurants/music/movies/sports,the Mexican strumming his acoustic guitar to ‘hello darkness my old friend’,the blokes who are always overtly customizing their lattes and food,  the people who take up two thirds of the seat and act as if they are sleeping to avoid moving over, the sometimes funny train conductor who doubles up as a stand  up comedian, The old folks who are always cribbing about none of the youngsters offering them the seat, the people who seem to fall into a perfect sleep as soon at the train leaves station. And many more people who keep adding them selves like twitter auto-follow bots, subconsciously, to my every growing list.

M recently asked me “ Why do you like NYC ?” I dint have a spot on answer then, but now when I start to put down on blog I get it : New York City for me is a cacophony of colors,people,sounds,cultures and idiosyncrasies. This city gave me my first green dollar, friends, associates,lovers,solitude and loneliness. Showed me sights I could never dream of seeing while growing up in India. I had an epiphany of sorts the first time I saw the tall glowing masts of Manhattan from the Staten island ferry. Under a clear evening sky, a million lights welcoming you into it’s fold, to be one with it. I saw my American dream.

“When you look at a city, it’s like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it”

For me NYC It is not the shopping/pubbing/night life many of the Indian student populace make it out to be.  The NYC i see is way different from their version of utopia. I am just an another brown  face in this milling human ocean. I like the anonymity it offers. How no one really cares who you are, what you do, because they are too busy getting to their destinations. I do enjoy gawking at the neon lit creations in Times Square by Madison avenue executives but I am also at complete peace sitting on the rocks beneath the Brooklyn bridge pebble hopping on the east river. In this mega city I see lives rife with strife. Lonely people, couples, musicians, performers, artists, salesmen, cooks,authors,bankers; people of every conceivable race,profession and color. Then there are people working multiple jobs to make it in the big apple. It is a city of constant struggle. And all this struggle is what makes you a man and gives me bitter-sweet memories that may hopefully one day span to be a book.

A lady who had lost her job today was a loose canon on the train today belting out expletives at her ex boss and asking any one caring to give her and ear ‘ What did you do today that made someone’s life better?’ Blame it on my snake like ears the moment she spoke those words there was an angst in my pangs. Small factors like extra sugar in my coffee or a missed meeting seemed irrelevant. I realized my many battles are not with the people or the place it is within  myself; a quest for self identity. A search for the meaning of my existence.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a partner
Sometimes I feel like my only friend is the city I live in
The city of angels
lonely as i am
Together we cry
I drive on her streets cuz she’s my companion
I walk through the hills cuz she knows who I am
She sees my good deeds and
she kisses me windy
and I never worry

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