Salaam Mumbai

I know… This line is getting over used and corny!

Yesterday morning when I received a BBM from one of my old friends telling me about the bomb blast, I slumped into my chair. Mumbai and I have had a very special relationship. Images of days gone by flashed before my eyes. I got very concerned about the well being about each and every piece of Mumbai I know. My friends, their friends and families… the places…the little boy who sat at the phone booth near my office … every little bit of Mumbai I knew. Are they all OK ?

This has happened in the past, it has happened again.Everyone seems to be getting more and more used to these attacks on humanity, I just cannot come to terms with it. This is not normal. This cannot be regular. I will not accept. And why Mumbai? It is the city of dreams… not nightmares ..

I was introduced to Mumbai by one of my college best friends. She used to keep calling me to come and join her in Mumbai, while I was happy and comfortable in Pune. Pune was home. I never could imagine myself to be a part of the fast paced Mumbai. I was far too laid back to be a part of that city. The crowd overwhelmed me, I felt small and lost. She introduced me to the restaurants where Mumbai glitterati frequented; we used to take long walks by the sea. She introduced me to the Bombay sandwiches and the cutting chais. I used to go and meet her every month and she kept selling Mumbai life
to me with every visit. I resisted. She insisted.

Fate has its own ways and I got an offer from a leading company in my field around 2002 which I could not resist. The fear of the crowd and local trains was not strong enough to stop me from taking the offer up I guess. Mumbai welcomed me like it does to the hundreds that come to her, with an open arm and a warm smile. Little did I know
that the coming 2 years would not only be the best in my life but would also change me as a person, for better!!

Mumbai has given me a lot. It gave me a bunch of crazy girl friends, some amazing moments and it introduced me to ME. It taught me the very basic lesson of life, live for your own self, if you are happy everyone else around you will be happy too. So many
memories from that city. Memories of those nights when I used to pack dinner home and sit by my window and eat, the endless traffic would never stop. I would sit there and the city by my side, and read my favorite authors at night.  It never let me feel lonely. Not a single moment. There is this one very special memory from Mumbai; I reached
Mumbai in March, and it was my birthday in April. I had never been alone on my
birthday till then.  I guess I was a little sad at the thought of being away from my friends in Pune that year, I think a few girls at work just figured that out. They had come from different cities too. We did not know a good place to go .. so they all took me to the
Juhu beach, bought a small cupcake for me and we sat feet in sand .. enjoying
the breeze .. and became friends. Shared chocolates with some street kids and
just sang the night away. I have had many birthdays before and after, at expensive places, with many other friends, but to me that was the best celebration I ever had. That’s Mumbai … Full of love and surprises at every corner. Ask and you shall receive.

It’s a city, which teaches you how to live,how to love, and how to be happy on your own terms. I eventually left Mumbai to be with D, taking a part of it in my heart, and leaving behind a part of me with her.

She has been through so many assaults, so many lives were lost … Why ? What does this prove or solve ? I do not understand how religion works, or what political agenda works behind such attacks. I am just another mother concerned about the world her kids are growing up in. I hope people start valuing life a little more. It takes a lot to create life, nurture it and give it a shape. It is not cheap. Every mother knows that. Yet so many mothers lose their children to war and such attacks.  I do not think I will ever understand why one human would even want to kill another one. How much hatred could lead to do that? I don’t want to know.  I just want to give my children a better world, like all other mothers out there. Is that too much to ask for? I want my boys to see Mumbai and embrace it like their mother had once done. I don’t want them to meet a scarred Mumbai… The spirit of Mumbai is what makes Mumbai and I want my boys to see that one day … In all its glory. Is that too much to ask for ?



One response »

  1. Oh gurl u brought tears! That’s Mumbai alright. In all it’s glory. Its All encompassing spirit. But it should not be extended to absorbing atrocities done to strike at its very roots. Mumbai should fight back. For its own sake. To let our kids n their kids experience it for what its worth… A city of dreams, aspirations, intoxicating opprtunities. My first brush with the metro was in monsoons. As I rode the cab, I had a glazed look, a flushed feeling… It was love at 1st sight. I loved it… In all its monsoon-y muckiness. There’s something wild n promising in Mumbai air.

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