Wednesday, May 25, 2005

bombay & I

i know i know, i've died on you. it's been strange. the transition. and i'm giving up on the caps on purpose, just too tired. sitting in office waiting for the final, edited version of my story. I haven't been in office this late for months, i haven't stayed up till 3.30 a.m. writing a story but you know what? it feels great. sometimes I wonder what I was thinking when i decided to quit journalism. feel stupid for not realising that i wouldn't manage to live without it for too long anyway. But just as well...
anyway back to this city. I came, I looked around, I decided I'm going to hate. but hate degenerates, it makes good tissues rotten, it makes your body shrink with pettiness, it makes you screw your nose up at people, it makes you look at someone's livelihood, someone's daily ride, someone's life and get all snobbish about your own. instead, reverse the hate. i did. I looked instead at what i had and how thankful i was. someone told me the other day that 56 per cent of this city lives in the slums, so i realised that i should be thankful for not being one of those statistics. I have now ventured out more. you cannot live in the south mumbai to bandra closeted world and feel the real bombay. actually several bombays live in mumbai. the fun is to enjoy them all, not to roll your jeans up and start living each of them but to effortlessly meander into them and out of them. so instead of prefering to do a telephonic interview and squirming at the thought of going to chakala or mulund or jogeshwari i've bothered to get up and get out. take cabs, take trains, take autos. i've been to jogeshwari to kamalistan studio, opposite matoshri, to andheri east to saki naka, to all those dirty, dusty places which make bombay, where life carries on with or without your prejudices. i've extended my train pass till andheri because i've realised that i will no longer be just a random visitor once in a while to 'those' parts and i can buy an extension ticket. i have realised that i will regularly go and meet people in their part of the world.
and now i realise, i quite like bombay. no, i still hate the dust and the traffic but i don't face it much since the train is also another bombay in itself. and i love the bindaas attitude. go anywhere wearing anything, even a dirty ol' pair of jeans will do. no one's watching no one's commenting no one's looking. just be.

2 Comments:

Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

The Bombay experience is like the India experience overall: at first, you are appalled by the squalor, crowds, filth, poverty and horrific living conditions.

Once conditioned to all those first-sight jaw-droppers, you sense the important part----the warmth, humour, resilience and openness of the people at large.

Bombay's reputation for cosmopolitan cohesion has been under severe threat for over a decade, but people who have left the city expect nothing short of a big bounce back.

28 May, 2005  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

And, of course...

... that bindaas attitude.

28 May, 2005  

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