Just about a year ago, I’d signed the lease for the flat I’m living in right now. The past few days have been in sharp reflection of the time I’ve spent in Mumbai, not as a student this time. The thoughts when I’d come here, the evolution, the hundreds of meetings with dozens of people, a few million thoughts, and endless dreams. Life’s moved, slowly sometimes, and breathtakingly fast, at others. But it’s moved, and it’s been quite a journey this far.
Anyway, this isn’t so much about me, but the city I’m told I belong to. And not without reason. I’ve absorbed the pace of the place, so much so, that something less just tests my patience. I’ve made peace with traveling in all modes of transport, including the peak hour local trains, leaving me sweaty and grimy – but not quite tired.
I’ve enjoyed quietly sitting at the marine drive looking at the horizon. I’ve folded my pants and taken a stroll at juhu beach, slurrping off a butter scotch and kala khatta gola, and with the same folded pants, walked in to prithvi theatre to get last moment tickets, owing to cancellations, and seen Hamlet sitting next to film personalities.
I’ve had the two rupee cutting chai at the railway station, before I boarded the second class train, on my way for a million dollar discussions, sitting in the lobby of the Taj, onwards to a 150 rupee Tea.
I’ve seen the sun set and felt the breeze in my hair, as I said sipping my chocolate, sitting at the carter road coffee shop, and I’ve strolled on the promenade in the middle of the nights, pondering over and feeling amused at the little joys of life.
I’ve had dates that started with pani puri and a walk at the beach and ended with a fine meal at an Italian Restaurant.
I’ve had a long conversation with a Venture Investor and with a taxi driver on the same day, and am not sure which one I enjoyed more.
I’ve danced all night at a disc, and yet been fresh and happy for a lunch meeting the following day.
I’ve hosted parties that lasted all night, and concluded in the morning with a buffet breakfast.
I’ve seen friends become estranged and heard almost-strangers pour their heart out to me.
I’ve spent days without meeting anyone except my flatmates, or not returned home for nights.
I’ve had breakfast at the Maratha and lunched on a a vada pao.
I’ve depended on the kindness of strangers! and been one, sometimes.
With all its contrasts and paradoxes, I’ve lived and felt the city in my veins.