Bombay Meri Jaan: Part 2

… the story of S and the seven-year itch continues. (ICYMI, read part 1 here)

S had been working seven days a week and happily so, but soon started getting tired of being the only one doing so all the time with efforts not being noticed, forget appreciated. A new feeling started coming in. S had begun going through a professional burnout. Already. At 27.

But she carried on. Because the person who was always there in her life (quite away from the limelight in this case) yet whom she considered less of a mentor until only a few years earlier explained how money matters and savings work. He said, “wanting to leave your job and staying at home is great but for a person like you who lives for each day without a single penny saved, it’s a difficult proposition.” S wanted to quit and move back where her parents were and move with them. But what about the independence that Bombay gave her? Or just the love she felt towards her (her: Bombay)? Or that feeling when she walked around Fort and Colaba (aka the prime-ish spots of South Bombay and also started a blog as a tribute to it)? She decided to drop the idea, picked up work elsewhere and this time cribbed about a new thing to this mentor she often spoke to. “I’ve begun work and go to office everyday and am already putting in long hours, but I don’t like the people I’m around. I feel I don’t connect with them”.

Can you guess what the response might have been? Or what S decided to do after making a huge claim such as this?

Nothing. Zilch. Just kept bottling all those feelings up and getting close to the character called Jay from Love Aaj Kal. Just that, there wasn’t a Meera in this story. The response part, we’ll get into a bit later.

A few months down the line, another learning opportunity presented itself and S decided to take this up to feel better about herself. What she had been feeling wrt a professional burnout was getting amplified by leaps and bounds because of a past mistake she didn’t quite forgive herself for and thereby, move on from, kept coming back to nag her. S stayed awake for more hours in the whole day and kept brooding about feeling blue-sy. At this time, no ‘retail therapy’, or music or films or books were helping but she just thought she should still carry on because it’ll help her build her resume. Afterall, that’s the only thing that defines a person (is that right?)

The same year, miraculously, her wish of being home came true in another form. Home came to her. S’s parents were in her city and she was overjoyed at the idea of staying at home and having everything being taken care of for her, especially her food habits. It was life-changing and everything started looking up. Someone she spoke to at work said, “oh your parents are here that’s why you get dabba everyday now? Yeh toh chaar din ki chandni hai.”

Chaar din ki Chandni meant a few months. Everything changed all of a sudden and S felt the most alone that day. The mentor she spoke with and connected with (albeit after several years wasted) was gone. Poof. Pretty much into thin air. So now I ask you, is goodbye such a simple word? And what if you don’t really get the chance to say bye properly because you’re just angry or your hormones were acting up then but time didn’t care enough. It did what it had to, when it had to.

Today, so many things are so different. Perspective has undergone an overhaul. It hasn’t been the easiest and we were not even in it to get an easy way out. All that was needed was a moment of respite. To soak what was happening around in and decide what next was to be done.

Suddenly, enough time had passed in S and Bombay’s relationship that they had established much before S had set foot here. She was enjoying what her mentor, let’s call him A, had often spoken about. Marine Drive, Nariman Point, NCPA, Electric House, Colaba causeway, Mahim, Napeansea Road, Altamount Road, Hanging Gardens, Malabar Hill, Peddar Road, Apollo Bunder road. There is so much in this list that it’s likely to take a long time to end. S wanted to experience everything she had grown up hearing about. And when we think of it, it was a challenge that life through her mentor had been thrown at her.

It is said that Bombay isn’t a city for everyone. This is true ’cause most of the faces you see all around you may smile a lot, but it’s what they don’t say that speaks all about them. As far as S is concerned, this relationship hit a rocky patch a while ago and what we’re calling the seven-year itch. Just like a marriage. And the best part in all this is, they both understand. There’s a deep feeling of melancholy, but there’s still a lot of hope. Perhaps, the motivation went away the day the motivator did. This is probably why they speak about criticism and it being used constructively.

July 7, 2018: S is starting a brand-new chapter in a few hours from now and wishes that all her amalgamated experiences over the years, especially from her days with Bombay help her look ahead and move on with complete positivity. She has gained a lot and lost enough. But these lessons are for everyone, only their time might differ. Everytime it’s something bad you might say, “why me”. However, it has to be you someday, if not this, then something else. How would anyone understand the worth of anything if everything fell into place easily like pieces of a puzzle waiting to be solved?

Bombay, especially South Bombay will be thoroughly missed and I hope she misses S equally. It’s been eight years of smiles, tears and everything in between. S ka ek pehlu aaya tha yahan back in 2010, ab 2018 mein S koi aur hai. This is where the Bombay chapter closes and Delhi 2.0 begins.

Bombay = Bae = BomBae 💕

Thank you,

S and A

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Bombay Meri Jaan: Part I

… 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).

Part 2 continues

Pink

Aerosmith said pink was everything from the color of passion to love at first sight, even “Pink it’s like red but not quite, and I think everything is going to be all right…”

All these thoughts hit me yesterday on what I can call my own promenade set along the Arabian Sea in this part of the bustling city of Bombay (Mumbai for most). The serene waters when the ebb was low transported me into another world just as I realized how blue I had been all these months. It wasn’t a moment of finding myself, but it was surely a step in that direction. Find myself not ’cause I feel lost or aimless, it’s just the fog that’s been thickening which needs to clear sooner than later, so the strong beam from the lighthouse doesn’t misguide the lone ship on unknown waters.

To put this feeling in a few words, I’ve seen red, I’ve felt blue, but it is the pink hue that makes me want to make my dreams come true.

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Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2016 – What You Will See Here

The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2016 has begun today and is on till the LOVE day of the year- February 14 – Valentine’s Day.

KGAF 2016 is like always a melting pot of art, culture, color and various passions that come to the forefront once in a year. The festival takes place at one of the most iconic spots of South Bombay (Mumbai) and while the reason the place was named so (Kala Ghoda) has been demolished, the spirit of the beautiful city remains the same, year after year.

At Kala Ghoda this year, you will see a mix of nature and various art installations that have been created the best out of waste technique. As the Bombay winter turns to scorching heat, this festival’s iconic placement ensures that you soak up the sun completely and to its fullest potential.

I visited KGAF this morning, the opening day, and every bit of it made me happy. It’s like a calling for every creative person out there. The colors add to all the vibrance, by day or by night. Check out some of the pictures below and let me know what you think:

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In And Around South Bombay – Part 2

Long overdue, second instalment of pictures from one of my solitary walks around town.

Walks, I believe, are one of the best things you can do on your own. It clears your mind of daily clutter, helps you think ahead and obviously, work out. It is but a beautiful thing to find your company with yourself, it pinches less when there are fewer people who stay around you, with or without choice.

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Especially if you’re the kinds who truly embraces independence, it doesn’t get better than this. So while not many would know yet, walking to some of the best locales around the world, is one of those crazy things on my bucket list.

Most of what I know of Mumbai (fondly and always called as Bombay) is via the several explorations on foot.

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Stay tuned while I bring you some more of those nuances of daily life in the city.

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For Part I, click here

P.S. Some of these pictures have been taken from a different phone, albeit with a slightly ineffective camera hence the haziness. In a lot of cases, it is the Bombay Smog also.

 

In And Around South Bombay – Part I

It’s been by far a pleasant day, a nice well-spent Sunday. But as I was walking out from St. Xavier’s this evening, I realized I must use the light just before the sun set and invited the dusk, transforming into the night. Those who’ve lived in Bombay city would agree that the sun hardly sets on one’s life here. You can make yourself so busy and make optimal use of time that it feels bad to see when one cannot, or does not.

I am, however, not judging anyone’s choices. As far as my thoughts go, I’d like you to know me better. And like I promised many months ago, open up aspects of South Bombay as I see it, to all of you out there.

Here’s Part I. 

WP_20160110_001The beautiful Victoria Terminus, now called Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus at 1715 hours. The clock tower continues to show the correct time, several years later. It has also been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. WP_20160110_004The vast expanse of Azad Maidan that is a favorite haunt for several cricket (and other sports) enthusiasts.  WP_20160110_009Notice the archway in this pristine old building. Many buildings that await restoration boast of architecture of this kind. WP_20160110_005This famous street transports several office and college-going crowd every day. The building houses a well-known company. The beauty captured from my camera… priceless. Leave it to your imagination to decipher the picture’s meaning, like creative liberty.WP_20160110_008A tree-lined road. A standard black-and-yellow-taxi and much more in one picture. Not WP_20160110_006Just a slight angle different than the picture above, only with the sunlight pouring in from the West. WP_20160110_002VT (Victoria Terminus) once again, camera angle a tad-right.WP_20160110_012As you walk down these roads, you come to realize it’s one better than the next, or they’re just sisters of the same fraternity. WP_20160110_011Notice the pleasant-looking balcony in this building. Great architecture, yes. But a great setting a fabulous romantic story also, perhaps. WP_20160110_007A few steps beyond, with the heart aflutter after pleasing one’s eyes to the beauty that this city within a greater city is. WP_20160110_003One of the branches of Deutsche Bank (the HQ) in a (thankfully) restored vintage building. WP_20160110_010

Another one of those with the lovely balcony. 

Read Part II here…