Thursday, April 05, 2007

1 Year On...

....since leaving Bombay. I remember trying to be positive last year, even as gloom threatened to choke me. It was the biggest change of my life and I was not sure at all that it was a good thing. But today I know... it was good. In fact, it was necessary. Necessary for me to find myself, find my purpose. But despite it being a good thing, and me being happy, I'm feeling nostalgic... a little homesick. It doesn't hurt the way it used to, but it still can sure yank at those heartstrings.

So what do I miss the most?

- the sights ..... gulmohar trees, the flowers that bloomed among sewage, Diwali fireworks, the Mid-day logo, Imax, my old colleges, my church, VT station, the hideous dome over the VT subway, Marine Drive, Bandstand, Mount Mary, Siddhivinayak, all the roads in and around what we call "town", all the roads around my home....and my beautiful home.

- the sounds .... BEST bus horns, the million gaalis that form part of any commuting experience, Nashik dhol during Ganesh Chaturthi, dandiya beats during Navratri, church bells.

- the flavours .... crisp ghee sada dosa (nobody in the UAE does it like its done in Bombay), sinful Cheese dosa (nobody here seems to have heard of it!), bhel, wada pav, samosas, my old college canteen ka veg schezwan noodles (the best I've ever had), murg shifta at Ivy in between Chembur & Ghatkopar (I almost cried the first time I had this was that divine), all the mithais (they use some freaky milk powder for sweets here & it makes me want to puke), the kababwallah's kababs near my house (er....the kababs that he makes, rather!!!), frankies (veg, chicken...doesn't matter....its all good), chole bhature, puri bhaji....God, this list can go on!!!

- the fragrances ..... some pleasant, some sure as hell anything but pleasant..... but they're all part of Bombay.

- and lastly, but most importantly, the people. Whoever said 'the people make the place' got it spot on. I'm luckier than most to be with my family here, but even as a family....we get lonely. For me, it isn't just that I miss my friends (and I do, from the bottom of my heart I do), I miss the million acquaintances....the people you've seen almost every other day, the faces you've grown up with. In the course of a typical day, you may just wave when you see them, may not even chat for 5 minutes.....but the point is that they're there. Its amazing how you take those familiar faces for you don't realize how big a part of your world they are.... till you're taken out of that world. It only hit me when I came here..... in this city, where life is so transient, where people keep coming and going, where they are much more wrapped up in their own lives, the worth of that wave hit me. Sure, its a seemingly insignificant gesture, but its the subconscious feeling behind it that matters and that so many of us don't recognize. The spirit, that when push comes to shove -- be it during the bomb blasts, the 26th July floods or any other major or minor crisis -- that unites Mumbaikars....that underlying sense of apnaapan. That's what I miss the most.

1 comment:

  1. mmmmm... Wonderfully written..

    Life sometimes gives a second chance.... And if you have it in ur wish list... wish you get it...