Tuesday, February 05, 2008

MUST I EXPLAIN MY ABSENCE ... DUH NO WI FI


Yes I come from nowhere
I will not see you again
I will miss you for life
But not cry for yesterday

I came here sixteen years ago, not realising I will never leave. This city is my home. Not because my parents built us a home here. A couple of months ago, when my flight was trying desperately to land, I was pretty annoyed, not only because the brakes weren't functioning, but because the near death experience was keeping me away from Delhi for another six hours. It was in that moment that I knew; Delhi. the city I hate to love has somehow seeped through my veins, corroded away my guard and become my home.

And, then I had to leave. I left behind cups of hazelnut coffee, four-hour long conversations about nothing, an empty spot on the orange concrete where the first drops of monsoons were eagerly awaited, unknown lovers waiting to caress brown Goosebumps in dark corners, new tunes enticing our lost souls while the city lights and strips of white lines zipped by intoxicated eyes and a girl doubling over as her laughter turned to gasps for fresh air.

The new city was easy to adapt to. It was as expected; a world unto itself; a bubble secluded away from biting reality and comfortable debauchery. Pune is what my jagged nerves needed. Time can be static here; if you wish to stretch it, you may, if you want to chase it, you can. And I can walk. I walk everywhere. I can look up and see the constellations in the sky. I can watch my ugly toenails navigate the weathered pavement. I can surround myself with black and green hills. I can walk through a rain fall of crispy brown leaves. I can watch a flower drop off a branch for it to find its way into my hand and walk with me.

And then I could not decide where to spend my two week vacation, so I came to Mumbai. And this insane city has got me floating, drowning and swimming in all its madness. I have jealously loved this city from when I was twelve and the unrequited affair continues. I walk around starry eyed, my open mouth gaping, embarrassed at a new world inhabited by brilliant colours, pungent smells, striking spirits and mind fucking experiences, every few kilometers.

There is an unexpected twist at every corner; be it the golf cart ride through Churchgate or getting swept away with a mass of impatient bodies on to the ‘first class’ without a ticket and destination; fitting your footsteps perfectly within the cobbles of Horniman Circle or a fisher woman offering you her seat in the local while you were cursing her silently for the unbearable stench; the magnificent buildings stuck in a time-warp with shadows behind half-curtains at Causeway or the playful urchin teasing a street side vendor wearing a mock-antique diving helmet; prawns and beer at Café Mondegar on a lazy Sunday afternoon or flaming Sev puri burning your insides in the suburbs of Kandivali.

I am dying to make this city my home someday. And yet, I suddenly find myself flying to Delhi for the last five days of my vacation. Prithvi, Irani food and the rest of Kala Ghoda is being left behind, but I cannot keep myself away from the city I can no longer call my home. I ripped myself away leaving behind remnants of my past and nothing to go back to and so I have no idea why am I even going back. February at two degrees might be worth it.