Written by Nandini Sethi
I saw a fairy tale come to life.
This is the city where I fell in love, also the city I fell in love with.
On the first day of my two-week stay, I ate a bowl of Haggis. Resting my chin on my palm, I gazed out of the window of my room. What a pretty place, the city of dreams, the land of dreamers.
My love, there is the exact spot I met you. I take a walk down the long road, knock on the cobbled wall, and I heard it whisper to me, “la la la, hmm, hmm”. All round, I hear the click of cameras, the clink of glasses filled with warm wine. I think of you, and I send a kiss to the sky.
The aroma of dark, bitter coffee lulled me into a café; the dainty cupcakes catch my eye, wouldn’t it be rude to just walk out without even saying hi?
The notes of the bag-pipe fill romance into the air, and now unknowingly, I’m walking with a skip in my step. This scenery feels like a movie to me, it feels like love; I capture the moment through the lens that is my eye, I’ll recover it later when it becomes a wishful memory; when I tell you all about it my love, I know I will long to be back.
To be back in this brilliant castle that I wish to be my home; I’ll wear the finest jewels and heaviest gowns, and you, my king, come stroke my curls then hurry along to fight the enemy.
My imagination runs rampant, but I close my eyes and dream anyway; I let the icy winds pierce through my coat, feel the slight tremble of my fingers as I rub them together to feel warm again.
I open my eyes and see Scotland in all her picturesque glory. The tram sliding along on her icy everyday path, young lovers bathing in the golden rays of the sun, and waiters in the road-side café’s, pouring glistening bottles of Scotch into empty glasses. Somewhere, I feel the stinking scent of Haggis trickling in and offend my nose again.
My love, something about this virtually fictional city takes me back in time, and so I sit down to write you a letter. If only I had pigeons to have them delivered to you; I know you’ve always been old-fashioned, and that’s why I love you.
I love you in Scotland, I love you in Shanghai. I love you in Moscow, and also in Mumbai. I love your sweet words that sit heavy in my heart, I love the promises that you never kept.
I love the day I saw you, and still remember our first date. I remember the sound of my footsteps as I followed you to your home, the sneaky glances I took from the outside of your window.
My love, you told me this was your favourite city, where every corner, every tiny little shop was worthy of making a postcard. I thought about it everyday; every night, every morning.
Every time I snuck into your house, everytime I watched you from outside the window. You were right, Edinburgh is the city of love, of dreams, and of dreamers.
I remember the dreams I had of you every night, the day you threw away my rose; I remember the taste of your icy glass window, the subtle notes of your music that I danced to in the backyard.
The thrill I felt that day, sitting in your bedroom, waiting for you to return, writing you a letter in the sheets; one day you will want me too, my love, even more than this city of dreams.
I remember the blaring of the sirens, the cold steel on my wrists; I remember the policemen grabbing my hands that day, as I blew you another kiss.