… and the story of the seven-year itch.
This story is about a character named S. I’m trying to tell my story, but for this one moment, writing in the city of some made and several broken dreams, Bombay, my character will be called S.
June 22, 2010: S and her parents drove down from Pune to see her off at the hostel where her life in Bombay was to begin. At 23, she had already worked for a while, but in the real sense, that work experience held less importance. Due to bad performance in college exams, there were far fewer options remaining and definitely no clue about how anything was ever going to shape up for her. So here she arrived in this city with some things to look forward to, on a rainy June evening, getting all-set for living life anew.
As days passed, curiosity grew, S used her past experiences to make certain judgements, while some she left for little effort. It’s usually the stuff that unfolds organically that is most-memorable eventually.
At one time, S believed in having larger groups whom she could mix around with, laugh with, talk continuously with. As time passed, this aspect changed and as the years have gone past, this change is somewhat one that can be called a shift in personality. There was never any self-esteem issue that S faced, but several experiences – good, bad, petty, just taught their own lessons as years passed. At the end of the first year and end of the course, there were fewer relevant jobs and suddenly S wasn’t sure whether she wanted to work in the event industry full-time. Then something happened.
S discovered that it was the conversations that she wasn’t having with too many people which helped her look within and bring out that lazy writer of some kind who had started a blog several years ago with no updation ever. But she wanted to change that about herself.
The lazy writer did come out, but to build the company’s pages that she was employed at, starting with one aspect of digital content writing, going on to the various kinds, across websites over the years. The one disconnect, it was all happening for someone else. But what about her own gain in all of this (notwithstanding the work experience). If you all have watched and enjoyed the gem of a film, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and remember the exchange between Naseeruddin Shah and Farhan Akhtar, when they speak about the latter’s profession, that feeling is somewhat the same. “Advertising mein toh doosron ke liye likhte ho, Apne liye bhi kuchh likhte ho ya nahi?”
As the second year and S’s work in the industry that she wants to be in began, full-fledged, S went on to meet a different set of people and all with baggages of their own, which was a brand-new lesson that was coming her way.
S has always believed in seeing the good in the other person and hence, despite several opportunities of cynicism, S had a chance of seeing the other side and moving ahead because there was work she liked doing, no matter the hours being put in and she was falling in love with the feeling of Bombay. More so, since it was South Bombay. There were beautiful buildings all around, there was a charm of the old world here and so much to embrace, standing on Causeway knowing how that came about and how Bombay became who she was.
So here’s the thing, S was often asked which city she preferred more – Delhi or Mumbai (I still refrain from using this name and I don’t hope to ever use it, unless it’s address or profession-related). S would always say, it’s South Bombay. So when she was given the option of living in the suburbs because it was nearly impossible living this side (thanks to the rents that are taller figures than the high-rises in the citt), S found it very hard to explain the feeling she got everytime she disembarked from the train at Churchgate station from wherever she was traveling, because it all felt like home. I’m sure by now it’s all sounding too filmy to you but this is how it always has been. It’s one of the reasons I’ve never felt that it was farcical or even funny to show Nandini Raichand dramatically turn her head from the ongoing pooja because her son had just stepped down from the helicopter.
S was the one who wanted to be seen in her best even on a shitty day, because her Sapnon ka Rajkumar could just be ’round the corner. S hasn’t found the Rajkumar or Raj or anyone yet. She feels that she is her own Raj and Simran (imagine them in place of Kishore Kumar’s character in the song ‘Aake Seedhi Lagi’ and you’ll know what I mean).