It’s been almost a week since I have been in Mumbai and like a movie in a fast forward motion, my life has changed dramatically. Mumbai has been this city which at one point of time meant just Marine Drive to me. It was always a pleasure to walk down the road, alone or with someone, with the sea murmuring beside you. Mumbai was the city with the most cooperative cab drivers. It was also the city of the greatest paradoxes where the rich and the poor play hide and seek on the same turf. But more than anything else Mumbai was Amitabh Bachhan in Deewar. The angry young man standing beside a window and remembering a lady walking down the streets with her two sons – Mumbai was always the city of dreams for me where the gutsiest of Indians "aaj bhi pheka hua paisa nahin uthate hain.”
The last weekend saw me watching two movies and a play spending almost 25 times the amount I spent for a movie in Muzaffarpur (on each of them). From non descript hotel rooms I am in my own studio apartment trying to cook Noodle Italiano; (a recipe created by Amit’s and my miserable attempts at cooking), from mindlessly swapping channels in the evening to catching a really good play at Juhu with great company, from having Samosas for breakfast, lunch and dinner to having a proper breakfast with my eggs made ‘sunny side up’; life has turned different. However, the greatest kick till now has been visiting Sid’s place at Bandstand. He lives beside Mannat, a bungalow that incidentally has a certain Shahrukh Khan as its inhabitant. So my evening was spent in a beautiful room, where the winds swept you off your feet, seeing the dusk descend upon the sea while kids with their eyes full of dreams stood in front of Mannat with the desire of seeing their man of dreams in flesh and blood.
My love story with Mumbai will not be a short lived one. But I do wish it was still Bombay.