I know it is kinda weird for me to be accepting it, but I … do miss Mumbai at times. well I don’t miss my work or my timetable there. Life was way too out of sync with my schedule and I hated it. But… as a City I miss Bombay. Bollywood movies and novels were my only window into the fascinating life of Bombay. Whenever I did think of the city, the pictures my mind sketched were those of grungy roads with houses covered in the shadows of all kinds of illegal activities to the dim lit discs equally dark but filled with the thumping energy and the zeal the city boasted of. My first personal introduction to the city’s famous “spirit” happened when I got stuck near the opera house in a bus on my way home. The triple blasts around Bombay ( for me somehow it will always be Bombay…) had just happened and it being my first close call, I was, to be a little crude, SH*T scared. I called up mom and pretty much said goodbye ( in not so many words, but I am sure she understood). I then frantically tried to call my husband who had no clue about it ( we are not the Avid news watchers…) and was trying to figure out what to cook for dinner. In the midst of all that chaos outside and my internal struggle to keep calm, I tried to think of other stuff by looking around at people inside the bus. What I saw was simply crazy. Nobody was BOTHERED!!! The men were calmly listening to music, playing on their mobiles or reading newspapers. The woman right next to me called up her husband to tell him she might be late as there had been a bomb blast…. FIVE minutes away from where we were!!!
The amount of relief I felt when I finally reached home was nothing compared to the astonishment I was about to step into at office the next day. Half the office had no clue of anything and the remaining half didn’t think it was that big a deal. Nobody called up anybody to check whether or not they were alive. Was it just the callousness on their part or the so called “spirit of Mumbai”??? It was definitely strange for me when life continued on its usual course around the city. There was no fear, speculation or even concern. It was almost as if each individual continued working for a livelihood till he/she was struck down dead. There was hardly any pause to enjoy life… appreciate the people around or even take care of oneself… For me it was just too surreal.
The other end of this bright rainbow dips into the famous “Night life” of Bombay. I accept, there are a million places to eat good food… the variety spreads not just into the type of cuisine offered but also in the price range they have. I mean we could walk out in our pyjamas and enjoy an awesome shawarma meal for just 300 Rs and even waltz into the Trident to end up paying more than 5 grands for just a starter and drinks. Being foodies we thoroughly enjoyed our time planning exceptional outings concentrated just on the food… what amazed me though was the life style of people around. Everybody usually gets up late ( yesss 8 am is LATE for me) then commutes to their workplace, they start work only by 11 or so… ( I don’t think they have ever heard of meetings at 7 or 8). Nobody leaves office before 9 and then they head straight to the pubs/discs … finally heading home by 1 or 2 only to crash into their beds… People say it’s a “Fast” lifestyle… I don’t get it. Yes they are always up and running but won’t it be a much fruitful lifestyle if things were a little organised and well scheduled? I know drinking with friends is fun but won’t it be a little more relaxing if they spent a night or two at home curled up with a book?
I guess I don’t miss the lifestyle but just the city where we could go to the marine drive at 2 in the night and it would be still be difficult to find a place to sit. Where there would be transport available at any time of night… I guess it’s a place where one can be independent and secure… I guess… I do miss Bombay sometimes…