It’s my last night in Mumbai… a journey of 5 years comes to an end, just like that, quicker than a New York minute. Outside its raining cats and dogs: at least it gives me an opportunity to flatter myself that it’s nature’s way of mourning my departure!
I still remember the day I stepped into the city, five years back, like any other starry eyed teenager- for somebody whose world was confined by a few narrow parameters, Bombay was the city of dreams- it represented everything that I dreamed of, everything that had eluded me, everything that defined perfection! Yeah, I was just another naïve young girl who still retained the innocence to build castles in the air and who still wasn’t a victim of cynicism. But all that was about to change, and how fast!!
This city has given me a lot, but hey it’s not called the financial capital of India for nothing- whatever it has given, it has also taken back with a hefty interest. I came here for a college degree, but I got more than what I had bargained for: an education! It provided me with a source of sustenance, a sense of self, and most importantly, the gift of freedom. I may have got ticked off by my teachers or my seniors at work, but I lived on my own terms; It wasn’t a great living, but at least it was MY life. It gave me the courage to say “No”, but a heart to say “Yes”, it taught me to appreciate the little things in life, for the first time I realized how much sacrifice my parents made for me and how rarely I acknowledged their contribution, for the first time I met people from all walks of life instead of middle class, Bengali children who went to the same school, studied the same subjects and wanted the same things as I did, and for the first time I fell in love- with myself! The city has taken its toll on me: the pangs of loneliness, the fast life, the very sight of crowded local trains, the exorbitant prices and the roadside paanipuri (don’t get me wrong, but it can never give the puchka a run for its money) sometimes made me wish I could run away!
Well here I am, walking away, at least for the time being… but Bombay is special and this is where I want to be… forever!
PS: I just saw “Life in a Metro”… it’s a must watch! Only regret, Anurag Basu could have offered me the role of any extra- I would have gladly sat on Churchgate station with a bowl… what’s the use of being a Bengali? Rahul Bose is now my only hope!!