Anniversary Time :)

The experience of survival is the key to the Gravity of Love”

– Enigma

Sixteen years back on this day, Dad decided to bid adieu to Pune. My bubble of living in La La Land was burst and we moved.. Lock,stock and barrel.. To the so called City of Dreams.

I have always had mixed reactions of Bombay.. Precisely because, I dont know whether it has given me more than I desired or it took away more than I could afford… It has metamorphosed me into something I hardly ever wanted me to be though..

I remember standing below the building where we used to live earlier, holding my brother’s hand and asking him, “Are we never going to come back?”

He replied, “We will. But not to stay here anymore”

“But, why?”

” Because we are going to a better place to live”

I smiled and slept on his shoulder while travelling by the mini van we had hired for ourselves. Bombay indeed seemed like a dream to come true.

Growing up was never easy. Moving into a girls convent was a pain. Why else would I be interested in listening to young girls whining about Hrithik Roshan not making hit movies or Rahul Dravid not speeding up his run rate! Most of my school life was spent in nostalgia. That of the earlier school life and then the innocence of fellow school mates.

College life in Mumbai is unarguably the best one can ever have in the country. Students from all walks of life mingle on a common platform and make the most of the 3 years that they spend together. You compete, you scrawl, you scratch one’s back, you hit and get hit back in return.. But when you come back the next morning, you still remain the best of friends.

Socializing is what keeps the city alive. But it comes with a flipside. It also takes away everything that keeps us alive. It has been five long years that I have graduated and I cannot boast of anything that I can live by when it comes to the contribution of the city to my life.

Early maturity made things visible much before they should have. Innocence was well replaced by presumptuous cynicism right from a very young age. Caution was raised to limits I could only imagine. Much more vague but true was the fact that a city made me so self conscious that i turned out to be a part pretender by the end of these 10 odd years.

Money runs on the step of a pedal. People come and go out of your life like local transport buses. Before you know it, you may have already boarded one only to stop at a signal and take another one. Sex sells at the prize of a penny and hence lust runs in the eyes of the people.

Such is this city.

But all said and done, I have never seen a friendlier place than this.. 90% of my auto rickshaw rides have been post 1am midnight and I have never ever felt discomfort while travelling.. And after 2 near fatal accidents and one flat tyre in the middle of the highway, I still like riding the rickety three tyred automobiles! I love the city when it slips into this demure, ladylike elegance at night and only wonder whether it could be like this forever.. I love to watch the traffic in the rains from my window and participate in the cheap version of street fights happening among ladies in the local train.. The spirit of this place is unbeatable.

The helpful nature of any pedestrian, the long lost small book shops, the corner cafes, the secluded little bars in alleys, the chocablock pubs, Prithvi cafe and the University.. Fashion Street, Colaba market, Irla and Dadar Flower Bazaar.. the duplicate Versaces of Ulhasnagar, Bollywood of cinegoers.. The cosy seat at the Jazz, the early morning breakfast at the Taj..there is nothing that I cannot like about Mumbai.. It makes people the way they want to turn out to be.

Simple for the simple ones. Bored for the ones to be bored. Indifferent for the ones like me. I have made my peace. I have made my comfort.

I love Mumbai. 🙂


3 Comments on “Anniversary Time :)

  1. Mumbai is Mumbai. Like I wrote in a post (or did I just say it to all my friends?), there are things about this city that I love, and you’ve highlighted most of them wonderfully. And then, there are things I don’t particularly like, but for the sake of your love of this city, let’s ignore them. 😀

    Your writing style is really good, by the way…seriously.

  2. Boy! Has it been 16 years?! I feel old. I remember, we sang “Home on the range” in class for you before you left. Quite ironic since you were going to the biggest metro in the subcontinent.

    It is interesting how moving to a new place changes your life and the person you are going to be. The old bonds, old connections become memories and without losing them, we now associate ourselves with the new place, the new connections. Also, interestingly, you can see this metamorphosis only in hindsight.

    • How can I ever forget all that 😦
      I remember carrying my Dad’s new address book to write down addresses of everybody I loved… First being you 😐
      Mumbai did change me forever. It is only advisable to move to this place once you are a grown up. Although the culture is varied, I wouldnt recommend the city for a child who is growing up. Kinda screws up your value system.
      But then again, to each his own.. This would be my opinion completely 🙂

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