Because some cities are absolute poetry

And yes I am missing Melbourne like a lover, the kind of missing that creates an ache right next to your heart, and all you want to do is fly back, wrap yourself in that unfamiliar drizzle, search out the gravity pulling you back and let it hold you inside its Soul, like a secret, like an old love story. (At Changi Airport, 4th August ’13)

Since August last year, I’ve always thought of Melbourne with a wishful sigh. My four days of wintry whirlwind didn’t quench my thirst – it left me wanting more. When I sat at the airport watching an infant sun run her tongue on the metal aircrafts, my throat burnt. I wanted to run back into the speckled shadowy arms of the Victorian buildings under the sweet smelling star-lit shawl of the Yarra. I discovered the city on the my last night, a little tipsy from all the wine at my first tasting at the Yarra –

With a map in hand, I had started walking down Exhibition Street in the blooIMG_3611ming twilight. Flinders Street was gorgeously lit. I remembered the previous night, the glitzy South Bank, dinner with my friend Kerryn at Guiseppe Anoldi & Sons, the fiery heat of the fireballs lighting up the chill that clawed down to my bones. Tattooed trams whizzed home and away.I found my way past the Yarra, over the lovely Queen’s bridge and to the Eureka Towers. The view from the The Edge was mesmerizing. I remember sitting quietly, staring out at the pulsating city below, traffic moving in dots and dashes, trains pulling in and out of the station.

“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

Later I found myself listening to the mass at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Something fragile in me wanted to cry.

Most of the other three days were spent travelling. The Great Ocean Road was a symphony in azure. I do not know how else must I describe it. The impossibly blue Antarctic beating against stretches of unexplored beaches, against walls of rocky IMG_3053mountains. The twelve apostles in all their regalia, a rain-lashed ocean and cold grey skies – not the conventional photographer’s choice you might say, but art nonetheless. Lorne with her restless rainbows arching up at leisure, yellow combed cockatoos dotting acres of grasslands, the Doug Stirling trail that snakes along the ocean. And the shimmery sunrise from the pier. I walked down desolate streets, past fences borne down with wild roses. I walked along the boulevard, past shut boutiques reflecting my sparkling eyes. Everything was bathed in the scent of fresh coffee mingled with eucalyptus-essence and sea-salt.




And ofcourse, Yarra Valley! It was winter and the vines were gnarled. Fuzzy yellow wattle heads were just beginning to show. A beautiful old lady from Tasmania told me, “You must come here in all seasons to know how truly magical the Yarra Valley is!” It got me thinking of clusters of grapes, the pink sakura, peaches and pears and apples and set me longing painfully. Even the stillness was so perfect.

I want to return. In summer. When the city is throbbing with life. In spring. When the flowers are battling in millions of beauty pageants. In autumn. When the russet of leaves line the sidewalks like a page from a crumpled poem. I want to explore the by-lanes and alleys of Melbourne, discover her chic and quirky street art. I want to unravel her carefully preserved secrets. I want to taste the aura of her cafe-lined streetscapes- with the sun in my hair, and pink lemonade oIMG_3426-001n my tongue. I want to sit at the Arts Centre and pen letters to every person I have loved and to every person who has loved me. I want to experience the bustle of the colourful Queen Victoria Market. I want to lose myself in the charming suburbs of Fitzroy/Collingwood and gape at the buildings that grace Carlton with its Italian vibe. I want to lie under a burning sun at the St.Kilda beach, laugh like a 10-year old at Luna Park and go squint-eyed at wonder at the aquarium. I want to lie under the southern stars on the verdant parklands, recite an ode for every constellation I can name. I want to ride in a hot air balloon at dawn, watch the city rubbing her sleepy eyes in the red-gold glow. I want to watch Federer play at the Rod Laver arena. I want to see the penguins at Philip Island. I want to see the sun rise from behind dollops of creamy clouds at Mornington. I want to see the Twelve Apostles standing tall in a sun ravished sapphire sea.

This list might be breathlessly long. But more than everything, I want to hear Melbourne telling me that she loves me too. I want to feel the warmth of her breaths deep under my skin.

When you ask me my reasons for falling in love with the world’s most liveable city, I lead you out in the moonshine and in a whisper tell you to listen to my heart. I promise you will know how certain cities are absolute poetry.


This post has been published for the Indiblogger “What’s your reason for falling in love with Melbourne, the most livable city in the world?” contest in association with Tourism Victoria.

Watch Tanmay & Rohan in the worlds’s greatest street art capital:

Official link: Tourism Victoria

Contest Alert!

Answer a simple question “Which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why?” on my blog and the best answer wins an INR 500 shopping voucher!

Deadline: January 4th, 2015, 11:59 IST


11 thoughts on “Because some cities are absolute poetry

  1. Firstly i would like to say it is a fantastic piece of writing Mohana.. and regarding the question asked in your blog i would love to visit the Eureka towers because it is through their visions we can feel Melbourne coming alive.- the real essence of a city.

  2. Great post! After reading your post & watching all the videos, I’d most like to visit the Dandenong Ranges for it’s scenic beauty, breathtaking view and cool breeze blowing through my hair. 😛 I’d give anything away for driving through the winding roads which are present throughout the ranges. I’d love to stay at one of the bed and breakfast cottages and go on frequent excursions in the forests with my camera which provides excellent views. And not to forget the famous ride in the Puffing Billy, a day reserved especially for that. To add to that, there are also several picnic spots for me and my friends to spend a fun-filled day and the ranges are a perfect spot for hiking and cycling.


    Wish you and your blog a happy new year! 😀

  3. Wonderful post and interesting videos that make me feel that
    Melbourne invites the eternal romantic in me to hold hands with my beloved and go see the Twelve Apostles .Go on long drives on the great ocean road. In the middle of nowhere in a vineyard spread a table and enjoy a meal and a glass of wine with my dear one. Enjoy the sunsets holding hands and do lots of shopping at the Queen Victoria Market and see all the graffiti being created at the hosier lane.
    Great Post and interesting videos watching them I am sure to visit Sovereign Hill for spending some time in the era gone by. The lure of gold and panning for some nuggets is a temptation that is too much to resist. After I have found the gold I am bound to celebrate it with some wine so I will visit the vineyards and enjoy some great wine from the Yarra region .Visit the Pannys Phillip Island Chocolate Factory and have my fill with this yummy delight.

  4. MCG, the Australian mecca for cricket lovers. I would definitely like to be in Australia when either Indian team or the English team happens to be on tour, the nest time. Will be a memorable experience to watch the rivalry unfold right in front of my eyes, sitting right in the middle of MCG.

    – Ranjith (

  5. Interesting Post
    After reading your post and watching all the videos
    I feel I have stepped into a kaleidoscope called Melbourne
    Where Vistas of experiences would unfold one after another
    The nature lover in me is enticed by the thought of watching the penguin parade.
    Traveling though the great ocean road, soaking up the freshness as the breeze ruffles my hair gets me in the mood to pack my bags for Melbourne.
    But before I can move ,Puffing Billy whistles and invites me for a ride. The kid in me jumps with joy at the thought of visiting Pannys Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
    Even before I can deside on the list of places that I would like to see in and around Melbourne.
    What’s that noise that I hear ?
    Oh its loud cheer from MCG as the cricket world cup 2015 is about to kick start.
    So many plces to see and so much to do.
    I am thetimetraveler ( ) and I have decided … Melbourne here I come ( ).

  6. Nice post! I would definitely want to visit all those amazing places when I get to visit Melbourne 🙂 But of all, my top pick would be a visit to Yarra valley for a beautiful sunrise balloon flight. After seeing the video, I can’t stop myself from dreaming a romantic magical flight above the scenic vineyards and watching the sunrise from up above! Throw in my favorite wine, I will doubly enjoy the ride sipping my glass and taking sensational selfies all the way 🙂 Now I can’t think of a better way of spending a vacation!!

    Next of course, cruising through the great ocean road in a open-top car to enjoy the coastal scenery and the iconic 12 apostles for the nature’s amazing work at play. Then a ride around the city in the vintage trams to enjoy its urban splendor and the legendary puffing billy to enjoy its natural splendor. Finally a day at the hot springs to unwind and totally rejuvenate myself 🙂

  7. Wow! Each time I read something new about Melbourne, I want to go there even more! 🙂
    As for your questions, right now, I’m tending towards the Regent theater with so much history – watching blockbusters there would be an experience not to miss! Let me add it to my bucket list and keep my fingers crossed that we both get to visit Melbourne soon enough 🙂

  8. Amazing Article.
    If I get a chance to visit Melbourne then
    I would like to spend my time in the Great Otway National Park, because I love watching animals. I would love to take a city tour by travelling on the Tram’s of Melbourne. By travelling in tram’s I want to explore every nook & corner of Melbourne. Besides this I would love to watch the amazing architectures of Melbourne like Eureka Tower, Royal Exhibition Building, etc. And without enjoying festivals, my journey would be incomplete so I will celebrate Australian Festivals.
    And how can I forget The MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground). As cricket is my favourite sport I would love to watch the Cricket world cup final which will take place at the largest stadium of Australia, that is, MCG.

    – Manu
    Harstuff Travel –

  9. Hey ,Superb post ,so all set to pack bags to have a thrill at Melbourne,Now being high on my wish list .U’ve very well covered the best of Melbourne and for the entry in contest ,there cannot ever be a single place for me.It has to be a bouquet of places to calm down my zest to explore it.So naming ,first comes the Great Ocean road not just to linger or have a decent walk but to amaze myself with Jetskiing ,Scuba diving and to try swim with Dolphins,seal Yay,these beautiful creatures would be lucky to share a swim with me.ha ha.Then it would be Eureka Sky deck, to have an awe inspiring experience to be closest to sky and get the sky deck view of this liveable city, MCG to watch and cheer the players on one of the worlds best cricket ground!

    Wishing u Best of Luck & a great year ahead.

    Visit my blog

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