On leaving the quiet place - the retreat, as it were. It doesn't matter where the quiet place was; it doesn't matter which metropolis one returns to - the result is still shell shock. Sounds have amplified, as have the smells, speeds, the frantic paths woven by people making their way from one suspect engagement to another. Kabir says the city will be uninhabitable in 20 years. This city, any city. I'd say a lot sooner.
Two evenings in a row, I enter the coffee shop were I used to pose every day in writerly affectation. Just to check. 'Cannot even sit down, let alone consume anything. The body slides past people inconspicuously, speaks infrequently and in low voice, seeks not much more than hibernation and a home-cooked meal. To a careless observer, newly sane would look a lot like deeply neurotic.
Other things are on course, though, and make perfect sense. The pantheon, the mountains, the paintbox one sits with every day. Eclipse that shows through dense fog. Strident barbets in the jamun tree. Mindfully kneaded dough. Ascetics - endangered species - who live more simply than one could dare to imagine. Nothing is harder than simple.