We are the sky,
light headed, our prowess profound.
Our dreams zealous.
Our nature stiflingly close to exploding at the slightest prod.
Hurtling towards the end of another year at a rate that obviously a few light years and should definitely not be happening to any of us but to me more importantly, the one thing I look forward to is walking down my city’s streets amidst the dimly lit Christmas lights and the occasional drunkard. Sometimes the drunkard would follow me home just before passing out on a footpath. Ahhh I love my city and I miss it. Some of you already know that I’ve moved from Bangalore to Bombay (I call it Bombay because that’s what it was called when I decided I wanted to live here) and in this post, I’m going to tell you exactly what moving to a city alone really means.
I don’t remember why we came to Bombay for a stopover but I do remember a conversation with my mum. This was when I must have been 10-12 years of age at best.
Mom: “Do you see those yellow lights around the sea? That is the Queen’s necklace”
Me: “They took our Kohinoor but we got a pretty sweet deal too, her necklace is quite big”
Mom: “Do you see that mughal monument-like building? That’s the Taj hotel”
Me: “I want to live here. I like this city”
Bombay was the only real city I had seen until then. What with growing up on border areas and towns where entertainment pertained to daring each other to go to the school at night and come back un-attacked by a ghost (our schools were all war hospitals or stables or dungeons from the British Raj which during the day were magnificent monuments with stone corridors but ghoul get-togethers at night) or sneaking out of the house to ride our bicycles to the lake at midnight and munching on lays and coke on the dewy grass, this city felt like an art gallery. I probably didn’t look down at the spit splurged everywhere, nor did I step out of south Bombay so my decision was clouded, some would say.
I did move to a city with my family eventually and while Bangalore was the best decision for me, that little shitbag ten year old still mumbled every now and then, “I want to live here. I like this city” So I moved, to Bombay, to an independent life, to my own house, to the idea of a bright future. Not to South Bombay that looked like an art gallery and familiar because of it’s British architecture.
Now let me really break it down to you, Mumbai is insane. I mean it. If I had to describe mad I could do so just by saying Mumbai. In any given radius of 3 square feet, you will find one car and two autos with their drivers spitting paan incessantly try to cross paths at the same time while a few humans jaywalk zig-zag and end up where they started off from. In the said humans, there is a fat chance that one is a struggling actor, another a stylist and the third a photographer or an assistant producer/director. True story. Of these humans, atleast 4 will be Gujratis, two will be from Bihar and U.P and there’s a slim chance of one being a Maharashtrian, especially if he’she is visibly upset at the rest for existing entirely. It is his/her city after all.
My independent life? Oh yeah it’s independent, alright. I independently wash the utensils for my maid has a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy and also because she’s rather large and I’m scared of her inane ability to punch me into a pulp and feed me to her three boys who must be just as large if not larger. I don’t want to find out. I also independently have to pay bills, I now know what they look like and this coming from me, an unspoiled, disciplined army kid who wasn’t waited on hand and foot by anyone ever. If ever, you finish all the house work and office work and cooking by midnight, then you can go out and enjoy every minute of your night out but not before wondering what you’ll have to give up on this month to pay for the food and alcohol you just guzzled. I usually give up on the parlour in lieu of rent.
My bright future? Oh hell yes, it’s as bright as 40 degrees can ever be. As bright as the prospect of the maid skipping work again and me having to cook my own three meals tomorrow and just short of being brighter than knowing that yet again, my gizzard and lung will switch places twice while I take the dreaded auto bumpety ride to work. No worries though, the gizzard and lung will switch places back to their original spot during the ride back home. Happens every time.
2015 has been a one hell of a ride and don’t let any of my above rants let you believe I hate it, of course there are parts that I hate but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Atleast not for the next few years. Who knows, I might end up elsewhere in 2016. I might even end up a year younger if all goes as planned.
Photos by Sindhur Reddy
Wearing: Jumpsuit by Dorothy Perkins on Jabong.com
Shirt by Van Heusen
Sneakers by Koovs
Neckpiece by Cochinelle at Crisp (a luxury boutique in Bangalore)
Location: A boat, again. Kerala.
Take A Bow