… 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 💕
S and A