Leaving Mumbai

Pulling into Dadar station on a 2nd class RAC ticket on a rainy night in June 2004 didn’t really feel like coming home, but flying out of the glittering T-2 in July 2016 sure felt like leaving home. Walking down the concourse, it seemed that a shimmering part of my heart shaped like the island of Bombay had been wrenched from my being. If streets and buildings and lanes and crossings can change the topology of your brain, then I have a large part of Bombay etched inside my cranium.

It wasn’t always like that…Bombay isn’t love at first sight, or rather first stench – there’s nothing “knock you down” stunning; it’s a mature love that grows as you trudge through the milling crowds on the trains, on the streets and in the bus. But slowly and surely, it grows on you – the lines for the elevator, the omnipresent sea, the purposeful wanderings of a collective whole. It’s an unrequited love – billionaire or street squatter – like the universe, Bombay is at best indifferent to you.

The sights of bright lights and determined, listless faces; the sounds of the temple bells, azaan, honks and construction cranes…and the crashing of the waves; the smells of rain, drain stink, biscuits and cutting chai; the touch is rough and the taste…of freedom and endless possibilities. The city struggles, along with its endless masses – never ending struggles in a city that doesn’t sleep.

If you’re blessed, you can find a quiet corner and some time to step back and observe – structures and people welded together in a timeless tick tock. The best way to explore the city is with a lot of leisure and without an agenda. In its heart, throbbing with traffic, you might find a deserted leafy lane that glistens in the rain. Or on a humid morning, runners along a bay full of silvery blue. Horses being led at the racecourse as the morning rays fall in shafts through the trees. On a busy intersection, a little life trying to get by, selling knick knacks. And once in a while, they will offer you a kind smile – yes, they do feel your pain, they do see your dream.

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Rediscovering NCPA

So we went out for a play after a very long time, thanks to the little one

All the pretty pregnant ladies out there, please watch as many plays as you can…coz they don’t allow children below the age of 5-6 years in.

Watched ‘Bombay Talkies’ – all in all pretty ok. Tales of Mumbai from 8 different protagonists – one aspiring starlet, one bored and belittled housewife, one fixer, one aspiring NRG (non-resident gujarati)…the part with Darshan Jariwala (for us, Toastie ke sasur ji!) was what made the entire play worth the money. Though he played a foul-mouthed, two-timing fixer Raj Gidwani (MC-BC language, wife in Versova and mistress in Borivli), his pain and angst with the bureaucratic ‘system’ is something we can all relate to. The dialogues and the delivery were just amazing!

Dinner at Cafe at the NCPA was standard fair, the food didn’t disappoint. The cool breeze and sounds of the seawaves and clinking of wine glasses made the perfect Sunday dinner.

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Hello, monsoons!

The rain started today; in earnest. I’m caught between a fuzzy deadline and an addictive i-pad game. What is so irresistible about tending to plants or baking cakes or maintaining a fashion boutique. Why isn’t clearly up everyday or sorting through office files and collecting data so addictive.

So, I sit on my desk, trying to ignore the beautiful rain…the red may-flowers now gone…

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