What draws us to a ‘culture’? There’s probably no universal answer to this. For some it is the people, and the ease, with which they accept us, and we, them, while for others it is the stark contrast, to their previous abode, which the new place has to offer. People who know the ‘cities’ that I’m referring to would call the title a misnomer and cast doubts over one, and in some cases two, of my choices’ qualifications to be deemed a city. Before beginning with the cryptic shenanigans, let’s name them Brahmpur, Vice City and Hogsmeade. For ease of references and to sate the inherent ‘A Suitable Boy’ reference quota. Off we go.
Brahmpur is where it all began,
Our protagonist was born, (or mine, lest you find him too nefarious or naive)
Played the part of the Bard’s mewling infant,
And the whining schoolboy, the latter with aplomb.
A city considered to be in decline by some,
And on the rise by others seemed to facilitate
Our hero’s introduction to struggles,
With opinions and choices.
The ‘hero’ and ‘protagonist’ jar, let’s just call him ‘A3’.
Brahmpur, with its seemingly unrivalled levels of activity,
Its proclivity for protests and rallies,
With schools willing to shut down when it rained too much
And terraces acting as cricket grounds, was majestic.
What’d started off as a pleasant surprise,
Soon turned into his passion.
School records tumbled, and medals abounded,
As A3 did his reputation fashion.
In the school/state of the blind, as many still put it,
Both A3 and his city were content being the one-eyed kings.
Fate however had a change of plans and with it that of cities,
All the accolades and rivalries were to be left behind.
On to Vice City, the ‘swapn-nagri’, if I may.
Lights dazzled, memories were frazzled.
Some accepted him willingly, some not so easily,
Nevertheless, the Brahmpur chronicles soon paled away.
With Vice City came the realization that,
He was now firmly in the middle of the stage,
Which the world was, and while reprising his schoolboy role,
Had also to follow natural progression and move on to the next.
The incessant nature of Vice City did not give him time,
To (over)think, to ponder over things, and was probably for the best.
He wanted his share of the spotlight,
Battles of the mind and heart were to be won, for which he had to fight.
While Brahmpur was about establishing a reputation,
Vice City was about protecting it.
And he did a fairly good job at it, though to academics were his exploits limited,
When the education system intervened again, and he was shipped off to Hogsmeade.
Idyllic Hogsmeade, paving the path to the magic of Hogwarts,
Soon taught him that it’s okay to give in, at times.
And that not having a reputation at all,
Can both be the best and the worst thing.
The ‘History of Magic’ equivalents outnumbered those of ‘DADA’.
The wand had chosen the wizard,
Because well, that’s how things work here.
A3 just couldn’t make it follow his bidding completely.
Hogsmeade did however, give him the competition he’d wanted,
And he realized that he was just one of the many.
The solitude amongst company that he’d always craved for,
Were now his, and he didn’t know what to do with it.
Shuttling from one thing to another,
He’s learnt to appreciate the true value of Sundays.
As he lazes around, typing out this ballad,
He just wishes he had some Butterbeer to go along with the mess’s salad.