Sunday, March 29, 2009
As I complete my first year in Mumbai shortly, I feel I have grown with this city. I have learnt that our lives are intertwined. That for as long as I live here, we shall share a common life. I can say this with some authority as I have spent quite a few sleepless nights in the city that never sleeps. And the city of dreams has instilled dreams in my eyes too. In fact, it will be more appropriate to say that I stepped into city with dreams. A small town girl in search of a city that would accept her, nurture her and give her the space to spread her wings and soar high. Delhi was my first choice. But somehow, it won’t accept me in spite of all my efforts. My life changed for the better and I landed here. Mumbai took me in her arms like an unconditional mother and since then I have clung to her bosom like a child. I can feel a sense of belonging as I hear the highs and lows of her breath.
My first tryst with the city is etched in my memory for good. As I walked out of the over-crowded but magnificent Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, I had been thinking about what the city had in store for me. Will I be able to carve out a niche for myself or be lost in the crowd of millions who keep thronging the busy lanes with hundreds of dreams in their weary eyes ? Many have made it big in this city but all the same, the packed foothpaths tell the other side of the story. One who walks into this city knows not which category Mumbai will place him/her in. Yet,this city has a charm that you cannot deny. It casts its spell on you before you know and then you are its captive forever. As my cab drove past the well known Marine Drive, I was so overwhelmed by my thoughts and the city that two drops of tears rolled down my cheeks. And I realized that this was ‘the’ place for me to be. It was raining hard, the infamous rains of Mumbai; and the untamed waves were striking against the tetra -pods ferociously. Some sights have the power to evoke emotions naturally and rains have always been the harbingers of good luck to me. That lovely grey morning is something I can never forget.
Nevertheless, there is an unsafe edge to this city as well. However secure it makes me feel, there is always a strange fear. The fear that usually keeps looming over the big cities. The fear that anything can happen to anyone. Whatever happened on the 26th of November was a manifestation of that fear. I realized that it’s only an extra amount of luck that makes the difference, that prevents you from being at the wrong place at the wrong time. But then it brings you back to the basics of life-the fact that life is not forever. It teaches you to live each day as if it were the last day of your life. Not just this, Mumbai has taught me much more. I love Mumbai for all that it has bestowed on me.