Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It’s been over a month now, and two weeks since I’ve sat down to write something about life in this new city. I’ve had lots to say and a lot more to share, but circumstances and an overcoming sense of lethargy always seemed to get the better of me. Lethargy in a city that thrives on an irrepressible buzzing energy and uncontrollable raging hormones — you ask — raising that ever-indulging eyebrow? Yes, LETHARGY and loads of it! The weather’s changed, but nothing else seems to have moved an inch, including me, much like that ‘normal’ traffic jam I was in, the other day. I was stuck in a Taxi on a flyover halfway between Byculla and Palton Road, all thanks to a meeting held by Mr Marathi Manoos Saviour (read Raj Thackeray and his MNS) at the Haj Committee building. The jam lasted for an hour and a half and I said nothing. I didn’t even complain! Funnily, I actually took time out to enjoy the free birds view of South Mumbai that I was ‘treated’ to. It wasn’t pleasant, at least not here. Picture me doing this in Namma Ooru. Me, who moved residence to the centre of town only because I couldn’t take the occasional 15-minute traffic hold up at Silk Board flyover, was now twiddling my thumbs, humming tunes and karaokeying to my MP3 player as vehicles stalled all around me for miles in either direction. Was I becoming an escapist? If escapism suddenly meant to want to run away, I wondered later. Frankly, I believe it’s the city to blame. What else could it possibly be? Like some unexplainable paradox, this city’s chaotic life often leaves someone like me blissfully and unalterably lethargic. With everyone going mad trying to reach work on time, catch that train on time, get to that mall on time, date bf/gf on time, eat on time, drink on time and the like, I preferred giving myself loads of extra hours with practically nothing to do. So, how did I keep myself occupied you ask? Well, it was simple actually. Here’s what my itinerary looked like a few days ago, purely for example’s sake. Wake up at 11 am. Get ready by 1 pm. Take cab to Goregaon (approx 20 kms away) at 2 pm. Watch Tamil/Telugu movie at strange slippery-floored mall (read Oberoi) for ‘jusht chumma’ sake at around 4 pm. Take a cab back to Parel after movie. Sit at home and stare at feet for another hour or so. Take cab to Colaba to meet ‘love interest’ or friend or both. Hang out at Theobroma’s, eat at Bagdadi’s or sit at Marine Drive and stare at crashing waves…right!…dead sea. Wonder what I’m doing here still, get depressed, then eventually bored, take cab back home. Sleep. Mumbai does have its charm. Maybe just that I am not the kind to be charmed by it. There is magic in the air, yes, but there’s also lots of dust, the ever present smell of fish and a stale dank sordid feeling that will never leave you. The rain today washed away most of my anger towards the city. Anger that some considered sinful to even mention. As I folded up my pants and ran to office carefully avoiding puddles with unmentionable and unclassifiable remnant goo, I missed clear waters with an aching for home that choked me. I miss Bangalore’s rains, the madness and juvenilia in the puddles and the fresh, clean gorgeous city after the rain. How I envy you, while you read this. You, who can run out after the next shower and be a kid all over again. You who breathe in that city I adore. Save it for me, please, I beg. I am on my way home.