Tishani Doshi on her memories of the city, of canals and roses and of the one language that has no barrier.
Outside were strains of Neapolitan songs, the thrum of motorboats, the sharp smell of brine. To the left, the heroic stone bridge of Rialto, built on the remains of previous bridges. To the right, the canal spirited on, flanked by lean, rotting buildings the colour of autumn peaches. The landlady who lived in the ground floor apartment had roses in her garden. The man I loved was her great-nephew.
They say it is a bad idea for lovers to visit Venice. Better to traipse through the satellite town of Mestre, which is so ugly in its industriousness that the beloveds gleam in comparison. In Venice, all else fades to shabbiness. The city, with her shining glass fronts and avenues of water, can make reflections only of her own beauty. Still, I do not remember being unhappy there.
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