They say you never know what something means to you until it’s gone. I pushed away everything I ever knew to see what connections I could make. I gave up my home, my family, friends and comforts and packed up my wounded soul for Bombay.
Yes. It would be a logical option when thinking about where to find yourself again. But could it really give me a new life? I honestly hadn’t thought much as I stepped off the plane and onto a long road that would be filled with anecdotes.
Let me first say, I had a few goals in mind when I was rummaging through my luggage, and deciding where to fit myself in a 4x4 block cell they call a P.G (Paying Guest) accommodation in Marine Lines. The entire row of rooms did not have a window, and it seemed like Bombay itself was closed out to me and my dreams. If it weren't for my cousin, I would have probably spiralled into further depression in that dingy little cubicle.
Finding a roof to cover your head may be hard across the world, and in Bombay, it’s close to impossible. The budget is never enough; the approach is not quite clean, and the holes that these modern-day smooth talkers would like you to believe are homes are nothing more than dumps that no human should ever have to suffer in.
So what really comes in handy when discovering the perfect accommodation is luck and references. I had both and thankfully landed where I am sitting now. It’s the most peaceful and chilled-out place I have ever lived in. To start describing it would be unfair. Let’s just say it's one of a kind pad that’s seen its share of people come and go. It’s a duplex and well, that's quite rare to find for the budget I had. The girl who used to live here is hard to describe too. She’s smart, witty and quite sharp. One of those risk-takers you wish you could be more like.
Ava and I had loads of fun in this house. We did our own scene. Like our time was our own, and no one was stopping us from pushing it all to the limit. I’ll say I did nearly everything I’d wanted ‘experiment’ with no regrets for real. Bombay’s like that...gives you all the opportunities, chances and encounters that can sweep you up and take you to just about any character you would dream of meeting.
Of course, I didn’t know it at the time, but I was living faster than I could dream. I found myself at random house parties rubbing shoulders with people whom I would have never, ever had a chance to meet in Delhi. I mean I love Delhi...woah wait, not even going to get into that debate...just want to say that culture-wise, the two cities are incredibly different and I’m glad I got to experience them both. If you say you're from Delhi out here people usually start ranting on and on about how Bombay is so much better and the conversation takes a turn for the worse...always. My advice is just to say you love the city and end it at that. The more you try to delicately point out your advice on how the city could be better, the more headstrong the locals get…and obviously so.
I've heard my share of shit about both cities, but truthfully, it's still hard to choose. Bombay is this strange zone you enter, like the house of magic at a circus. You know you want to go in and see and feel what it's like to be when you're a part of the illusion. The wrapped mirrors become the people you meet and their never-ending ways of showing you yourself in a manner that you would have never seen otherwise. The scary jack-in-the-box moments that make you jump back and say, wow! Thank god I survived that night! The intricate twists and turns that carry you forward to the wizard himself and oh, what a spell he will cast on you! Your eyes will open to his world. His playful smile and lies will have you giggling and wishing you’d met him sooner. With a sweep of his arm, he’ll hold you tight and you’ll feel like there’s something familiar about him. Don’t say I didn’t warn you...Bombay boys can keep you mesmerised and change you from the inside out that I can say confidently.
Welcome to the illusion that is this city. Be where you want to be. Do what you need to, but remember...as soon as you step out of the fun house, it's all gone. You’ll turn around and it'll disappear along with the time that flew by.