Feb 27, 2013

Why The City of Dreams?

Why should I thank the City of Dreams for what it has made me? Why is this happening now? Of course, I miss it immensely. Living there has brought out the real me; the fearless, smart and outgoing. Opulant and charismatic ( too many adjectives i presume? Ah, nevermind)

Packing to Bombay for studies was perhaps the best decision I ever took in my life. Ok, I wasn’t alone, my parents helped me with the extremely confusing choices and options, finally roundhouse-selecting Bombay; best decision in terms of experiences i would say. I’m quite sure that the four years I spent in this city was very
‘happening’ though Dad wanted me to go to Delhi. That was because he felt nostalgic and homely, being in Delhi. Having spent a major part of his life in Delhi and the north, his mastery over Hindi and Urdu languages were far superior to any Southie I knew. During his years there, he regularly used to visitDilli-haat whenever he was free. He knew how Delhi’s lanes were, whereParanthe-wali gali began and whereKhan Market ended. He used to pop in chaat from a paper cone while his stroll through the seriously buzzing crowd in Karol-Bagh and Sarojini Nagar with his friends and colleagues; something he never forgets to recall.
He adored Delhi’s lingering memories and always loved the City of Djinns.

Delhi has given me faint memories too. I remember the Sahay family and their two lovely daughters Brinda and Meera who lived in the right opposite flat, Chadda uncle who bought a washing machine just to make frothy lassi for his family, which obviously left my dad and other southies awe in amusement. My dad recalls this family even now occassionaly.Chadda uncle's wife Gurcharan loved cooking for guests always. Their son and my buddy Agnivesh Singh, a little surd then, was full of life and just crankiness. There was Bose uncle and wife Bhoomi, the bong family with whom I stayed for almost a year when my dad was at Ladakh and mom working at AllahabadRamesh Gowda uncle was the kids'-uncle whose gongura-chutney was famous and so was his Andhra culinary skills. They were all one point of time my existence for me and they all lived cordially throughout my moments in Delhi. I, for instance, remember how Holi and Diwali were pompous festivals and how eagerly i waited for those days to come every year.Incipiently, now they are all memories; fresh yet pale, deep but momentary.

Bombay was an alien city to Dad. Excepting his visit to the city just once or twice and a faint knowledge about Gateway of India and Chowpatty, he wasn’t well aware about its bounty. When we came to Bombay to admit me into my college, he was visiting Bombay after 6 years. So on the day he was leaving me in Bombay (to stay in a crammed hostel and getting himself back to Cochin), I broke. Loud and clear. I bid him good bye downstairs, tears cornering my eyes and so his, only to run back into the room, fall onto the bed and press my face against the pillow to cry harder. That was a day ahead of the commencement of the session for the academic year.

On the fateful day of 10th July 2006, when we students were all out on Mumbai-Darshan, initiated by the college as a part of our orientation, enjoying the sunset at Gateway of India, seven blasts in the local trains, ripped the city apart. My dad had just crossed Maharashtra border and entered Madgaon on his way back to Kerala when it happened. All telephone lines were jammed, making it impossible for me to call him or vice versa and it added to the already impounding sad whiff and misery.

Kids make mudpies at Chowpatty, on a bright Saturday evening. 2009 Feb

Windmills brighten up the sunny evening. Carter Road

Walton Road, Colaba Causeway, Mumbai

After all the two years, again when something unethical and horrendous came on 26th November 2008, I was stronger, Mumbai was stronger, to bounce back and kind of show the perpetrators a wonderful finger. Now, life hasn't been better, living it in my own terms, not accepting anything less than what my conscience informs me and making each day count and thank. Some actions are impromptu and so are some decisions. Several of my decisions are the most timely I have ever taken.
I’m quite sure that if I were under the hood of my parents, whining around my mom’s sari-pallu back at home, I wouldn’t have known how to face any harsh world and any reality, nor choose between urgent choices and thoughts. But now, give me anything, I am Game.

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