An eternal affair with Mumbai
Mumbai. An ostensibly normal six letter word that triggers innumerous emotions in me, irrespective of my current location. As quoted on a social networking site “Mumbai is a city, Bombay is an emotion”. So true.
I know not what has drawn me so irrevocably, so inexplicably in love with this city,but I know I am hooked.I wonder why -could it be the bustling pace of life here? Or the scenic juxtaposition of sea and mountains? Or the charm of local trains, no matter how crowded they are or whichever line they are (must admit, am a little partial to the Central line, all the way from CST to Kasara)?Or the rains-oh the lovely rains-which paint the city with an elegant silver hue? Or its varied cultures-from the festive and typically Hindu Ganpati festival,to the evening azaan at Haji Ali,to the illuminated Bandra for Christmas to the charm of the little Parsee colonies? Could it be the the food? After all, from the predominantly Maharashtrian –the appetizing Vada Pav laced with the wonderful lasoon chutney ,the modest Poha and the absolutely fantastic Puran poli-to the Gujarati dhokla ,farsaan and khaandvi,all relatively mild ,spiced up with green chutney-to the crispy South Indian dosa,to the quaint Iranian cafes with their piping hot chai (tea is passé :-p)-everything is at its best here.
Of course, each coin has its flip side. The pace comes with a daily dose of poverty and crowd, the mountains are covered by slum settlements, the sea water is a dirty brown, the tracks are an open excrement area cum dumping ground and the rains bring potholes ,delayed trains and flooded roads in its stride.On one side of the road there are malnourished children, whereas on the other there are hotels throwing away spare food. Yet,despite all these,Bombay..oops,Mumbai,remains endearing. Not only to me, but also to the many Mumbaikars. That’s love,I guess.Yes,even if it is with a city.
That’s what love is all about. Unconditional, unfathomable, unplanned ,unending.Never demands and accepts flaws as gracefully as if it were one’s own. A beautiful feeling, the mere mention of which, always brings a smile to your face. Makes every day a celebration , and every dream come true. This love can be for anybody, from a spouse to a pet,and anything, from a favorite book to, in my case ,a city. Can happen anywhere and anytime, taking you aback most of the time. This valentine’s day I hope you discover and relentlessly pursue your love of a lifetime, either in the form of a job, partner, book, place,or all of them! Happy Valentine’s Day. Celebrate love, celebrate life and most importantly, be true to your heart J...!!