Venice: behind the Masquerades

Whenever I saw those mesmerizing pictures of gondolas floating on the roads of  Venice, which look nothing like charcoal for they are made up of Hydrogen atoms holding hands at 104.45° with an Oxygen atom on both sides, I was always pushed into a dreamland. A world where one would set a foot on wood whenever they wanted to travel, a generation preserving its heritage so respectfully that the waters reflected a fine blue color putting Oceans to shame of their aquamarine. A place where, once I find love of my life, I would ask her to be with me for rest of our lives. A place where there is a smile on every Gondolier, a song on his lips, a pride in his heart for that he is rowing in Venice.

Nothing can beat pump-up the adrenaline more that the photo-shopped images of that dreamland which has now become a bait for tourists, a source of money from tourism, a facade of that richness once exhibited by those who dared to built on waters, telling their Father ‘See what your children are capable of’.  Something came cracking down, without making a shattering noise, without leaving  smithereens behind & when I looked inside – it was my Heart. All hopes gone, all magic disappeared.

It only looks like an old lady, perhaps like ruins of Greece or excavations from Mohenjo-Daro, that can tell tales of its once glorious past but not anymore.

Water has changed its color, buildings have gone weary, Gondolas are now like jamming traffic in the waters, Gondoliers are now busy making phone calls, songs only in your pocket mp3, smiles left at the point-of-boarding when I showed some smartness to avoid being cheated and overcharged by the commercials of this dreamland. Yes, negotiations happen to a good extent, routes are pre-decided, Gondoliers’ watches now run faster, your wooden vehicle now waits for it’s turn to cross the canal, you forget about the experience and look it mostly through the lens of your camera.

I felt that I saw the old lady in azure dress tried to whisper in my ears “trust me, I was once very much like your imagination”.


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