“ Mum, It’s like walking in a huge life size water painting”, I overheard the teenager speaking over phone. For a moment I just wowed the thought. It was like giving words to my own feelings . Yes , that is exactly what Rome is . A huge painting where you are the child in the window on the left hand corner looking out at perhaps nowhere . You do not count for the overall beauty of the painting but just the thought that you are also there in it- is exciting .
This time , it is even more fun. May be the excitement of discovery is not there as it was the first time but then there is this soothing familiarity with the place which makes it even more special . Every morning I marvel at the colour of the river water, the magic flowing at the piazzas and the amazing energy in the messy city scene. It’s like a child watching ripples in the water for the first time . Interestingly, it is also like a householder looking at his old house with fondness and affection. I try counting the shades of life and fail everyday .
The other day walking back from Vatican , I thought about the art and the faith . How one inspires the other and how they complement and contradict each other simultaneously . It was like finding an ancient church celebrating the Galileo and his views about Sun and earth . It’s also like finding a statue of a Dominican monk burned at stake for his theory of mathematics. The best part perhaps is away from the flickering digicams and the souvenir shops. It’s the beauty hidden in the small lanes and cobbled pathways . You turn a corner and may be you find the most amazing church , you peep through a keyhole and may be it gives you the most perfect view of St Peters .
So I hunt for such turns and keyholes, sideways and the tiny little door on the other side . They keep on appearing and finding me. So ,the mysterical water painting keep on changing its colours and like an amazed child I watch in awe and admiration .
Its such a unique blend of modern and ancient that you cannot admire one without mentioning the other. Sometimes it looks ironical, even funny. Imagine the modern real time media , chasing the ancient tradition of choosing the successor of St Peters- the pope . It is a place where modern SUVs zoom through the ancient roads and where the flamboyant politicians and their girlfriends share headlines with the 85 year old pope resigning from his post. But then one realizes that this is exactly the texture of this fascinating city . You keep digging in and you keep finding treasures – layer after layer.