Lately, I feel like something is amiss. I don’t know if I am missing home, or Rambo (my dad), or my friends back home. But, something is definitely off. Ek toh, this humidity, ufff! If you go outdoors during noon, it feels like walking into a 200 degree preheated oven and in the evenings, it’s like going for a sauna bath! You know, in Dehradun, it gets hot too, but that’s the heat I am used to and besides, there is no reason for me to step out in the peak of any afternoon. Here, Avan (my not-so-amazing boss) makes me collect fashion samples right when the sun is glaring down on my head. Last night, I was EXHAUSTED as I was out for most part of the day, so I skipped dinner. Imagine, I didn’t eat even when Kartik had made my favourite aloo parathas.
I have completely fallen head over heels in love with Mumbai, but now the gravity of my relationship with this city is kind of sinking in. This city has its charm for sure, but it also comes with its own set of weirdness. Yahan har koi is trying to get ahead of someone, quite literally. On the sorry excuse of a sidewalk, people are pushing (almost hitting) each other to go ahead. On the roads, carwallahs are incessantly honking to overtake other vehicles. What’s the hurry? I just don’t get it. And do not get me started on the traffic. Hell, an ambulance and a fire brigade cannot pass through!
Amidst all the chaos in this city, there are daily fights just about everywhere. Be it a car driver fighting with another fellow driver, passengers with an autowallah, neighbour aunty with the doodhwala... The list is endless. Once, I witnessed the wrath of it, first hand. When Mia (my scooty and love of my life) was at the garage, I had to take a local train to work. While returning, I got into a Mira Road-bound train and imagine my horror, when the ladies wouldn’t let me get off. My crime: I wanted to get off at Bandra. They blocked the path and started hurling the choicest of abuses as if I had committed the biggest crime in the world!
To top all the madness, this cubby hole of a room from where I am penning this down — is this, what people call a house? And let’s not even talk about the rent we are paying for such a small apartment. The bathroom in my Dehradun home is bigger than my bedroom in this apartment. Not only can I see what my neighbours do in their homes, but also smell what they cook. Where are the gardens in this city? Where are the clean roads?
To sum it up, Mumbai, I reckon, isn’t as wonderful as I had thought it to be. Maybe, these adversities are the bitter sweet realities of this beautiful city. But then, I guess no place ever is. It’s all about accepting the city for what it is and what it has to offer, and then embracing it wholeheartedly; much like you do with your family and friends. One of my dad’s quotes is so apt for this situation — “It’s up to you to make a home out of the strangest of places”. And with Mumbai, I may just have.
Catch the interesting tale of Meera Sehgal in Girl In The City on bindass'’ Facebook page every Thursday at 7.30 pm