Saturday, September 9, 2017

Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan

We are often lamenting about things that are not right, without appreciating the things that are right. This is my biggest realisation of turning 31.

I am sitting in my niece's bedroom in Mumbai. In the last two days that I have been here, my heart is being pressed so hard that it is not even funny.  It reminds me of the days when I was interning in Mumbai, and for me there was nothing better than this city. To be honest- when they say the Bombay is a feeling. I know it. I believe it.

My relationship with Bombay is complex. This is the city, where I learnt to be independent at the age of 4, when my great-aunt told me that I could pick out my own clothes and could take my own baths, and leave my hair open all I want. This is also the city, where I learnt the true essence of house parties, and the fact that even if I have to get up at 5 in the morning to travel for a couple of hours, a party on a weekday is not a bad idea at all.

This is also the city that brought me to my knees. A city, where tiny living spaces far far away were the only ones that one could afford and sunshine or rains or even a massive hangover doesn't stop anyone in this city. There is a resilience here that gives it strength. Like someone recently told me, Mumbai is a city where even if you are broke you can have fun. Might I add, that once we grow up the broke fun doesn't cut it anymore. That is why the complicated relationship.

I could have easily passed off Mumbai as Bangalore, where we have friends and family, and which is a great party spot with hopeless traffic, if I had not lived here. Like it was home, at several points of my life.

If I had to re-do my relationship with Mumbai, would I change anything? Would I want this to work out? Would I do something differently?

I don't think I would. I have been thinking about the past. A lot. Especially closer to the birthday. I always do that, helps me plot my growth. I have in the past told the Husband, that I wish we could have done things differently. But- today when I sat to write this out- I realised that I would not have been writing this post about the bitter sweet memories of Mumbai had we not indulged the way that we did, without a care. Our decisions at those times bore fruits. We have best of the people (Yes, because Mumbai does have the best of the people, and believe me when I say that most of the best of Delhi people also stay here, hence Delhi is left with too little of them!) as our friends. And I say "our" friends because of all the memories and the moments that both Husband and I spent with his friends.

There is however something that I would change. My attitude. I always had fun. But, I was always riddled with guilt later. I started attaching a lot more importance and impact (negative one at that) to certain things/situation than what was required, instead of purely enjoying that moment, and preserving it in my memory- just as that- a pure moment of joy.
But other than that, I will not change a thing (maybe a year extra at Juhu ;)) .

Delhi will always be home. With the tiffs, tribulations and a lot diplomatic acts. And Mumbai, was and continues to remain- Meri Jaan. Will it ever be "home" again? I don't know. I do know that, Mumbai will always play an important part in our lives. We are inter- twined. At a spiritual level.

At 31, you realise a meaning of deeper connection, as you move forth with your life at a different pace, with different goals. But there certain places and people who are your anchors, and Mumbai will always be that anchor.

Thank you, for the great Birthday weekend, Mumbai.