Ah, amore…love…one of the most beautiful and intoxicating feelings ever. Last year, for me, was spent being madly, crazily, head over heels in love with every new place I saw. Barcelona, Rome, Johannesburg, Ladakh and Krakow…talk about a sweet sixteen. At the end of the year, a friend asked me the most difficult question ever, “Which was your favourite city?” I gaped at him, stupefied at his outrageous question. Didn’t he know that was as bad as having to choose between spending my weekend sleeping and spending it eating? I voiced this and he looked at me with an expression that clearly portrayed how he thought me to be so primeval in my weekend pursuits. But anyways, I digress, the point remained that he was genuinely asking me to choose my favourite. And with a churning conscience and devastated heart, I did: Rome.
“Music by the wonderful musicians on the streets…”
“Why?” he persisted as I wrung my hands in annoyance at his continued probing. So, I paused and I thought why, and flashes of my first night there came back to me. The first night that we all went out for dinner to a local, authentic Italian restaurant, which was located at the street adjacent to our hotel. And the short walk left me stunned at the sheer simplistic beauty of the neighbourhood we were residing in. Fairy lights adorned the trees, twinkling merrily although there was no festival. The warm glow of the street lamps that illuminated the colourful awnings of small shops. And the music…the lovely, melancholic music made by the wonderful musicians on the streets; harpists, ukulele players, guitarists, singers, violinists, flutists…so many talented instrumentalists crooning some familiar songs by Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. Wherever I went, there was music.
And then, when we finally arrived at our destination: the restaurant. It was delightful, simple yet classy. Checked tablecloth, vases of fresh flowers and more fairy lights. And then, one of my favourite songs in the whole wide world began playing: That’s Amore by Dean Martin. I love that song because of the lyrics and the lilting melody. I can listen to the song again and again because of the image it creates. When I was little and I used to play this song, I used to waltz around with my teddy bear imagining him to be Prince Charming (so cliché…I know, I know). But right then and there, listening to that song, still made me feel in love even though I wasn’t dancing with a stuffed toy nor was I willing to find Mr Right. I was feeling love for the place that I was in; I was in love with the ambience, the atmosphere, Dean Martin’s voice, the twilight sky and the buzzing sound that is created when there are lots of people talking all at once.
A three-course meal later, as I left the restaurant, I saw everything from a new perspective. The moon did hit my eye like a big pizza pie, the world did seem to shine like I’d had too much wine, the stars did make me drool like a pasta fazool and I definitely was dancing down the street with a cloud at my feet. (I would’ve sung Vita Bella but I didn’t know the lyrics). Because in that heady, happy moment it dawned on me that real romance isn’t just all about the boy-girl kind. That’s just one-dimensional. Real romance is all about feeling something towards everything that moves you, touches your heart and makes you feel something inexplicably powerful. It could be what you feel while singing or playing an instrument like those musicians in the street, it could be acting or filmmaking, writing a book or a song, painting, politics or absolutely anything else that you might be passionate about.
After all, “the best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.” – Nicholas Sparks
This is Sanchi’s first article on Wordscover!