Honestly, the only affair I have had in my life has been with Mumbai. We were made for each other. We loved, we hated, we fought, we cried and we survived and grew together. And how much ever the Delhites complain about this city, I am in complete love with her.
Now that I am back again to the city, I realized my love was the unfettered, ill advised and completely irrational love of the youth. And as such, we had completely overlooked the fact that our love story was doomed from Day 1.
It has been a couple of months since we have been here. No, it has not been Bandra, fortunately as far as the Missus is concerned. She hated the traffic at Pali Naka and the crazy snail on Linking Road. It was one of those ‘meeting the ex’ that never works out I guess.
So we ended up near a lake. With water being a concern every summer, at least I can take a bucket to the lake every now and then if need so arises. And with the city already gasping at the very beginning of summer, we sense a long, dry Indian summer ahead of us.
And with the glamourous goggles of Bandra finally off my eyes, I realized Mumbai’s beauty is often exaggerated by enamoured young individuals like me. Why else, a city, which is the heart of one of the future economic super powers, be reeling under infrastructure woes? Why else the green covers of the city are non existence? Why else would a child be inhaling toxic fumes, every day in her commute to school?
There was a point of time when I swore by the restaurants in Mumbai. Today I find them unable to stay true to cuisines, culinary skills and finesse. The magic wanes as you grow older I guess, but Mumbai to me was more than magic. It was a story of hope and of resilience. Today I sense only an acceptance of fate. And slowly that creeps up on everyone. Sab kuch chalta hain.
I still love Mumbai, but I am no longer blind to her mood swings. I have realized over the years that not attempting to correct what’s wrong only leads you down to an abyss, further and further away from any utopia.
And so this time, Mumbai my love, every day an auto refuses to pick me up or a road looks like it has been bombed by WW II fighter planes, do not expect me to accept you as you are.
The days of love, blind and forgetful are over my dear!