Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Memories of Mumbai

Its soon going to be time to leave Mumbai which has been my city of work, freedom, place where I lived by myself on my terms in a really cute house, a city that has given me so many close friends, such wonderful experiences of all sorts.....

Am writing this blog with a bit of nostalgia, and a tinge of sadness at having to part ways again with my city of birth even as I begin preparations for a new phase in life. Personal Things/People/Memories I would cherish from my over four years stay in this city (in random order) are:
  1. Friends - This city has one brought me closer to a few of my old batchmates from MBA days, a few current and ex-colleagues with whom I have shared a lot of train journeys - (sometimes in the opposite direction to just spend more time yapping)/general cribbings/endless laughter/madness/pleasurable moments exploring the city/concerts/temple visits/countless lunches, dinners and breakfast ( a few restaurants may consider issuing me a frequent eater pass)/seeing mindless and mindful movies/nights out at my place or a friends place. Without these friends life would have been extremely boring if not difficult.
  2. Professional and customer centric enterprises- By this I don't necessarily mean the typical corporate workplace. Check the local grocery store, the diagnostic centre, the computer service authority, your gas agency - they are typically very professional and customer centric. This is possibly the only city where you can convince them to make exceptions since distances are huge and lives hectic. People here genuinely try to make your life easy if requested in the right way and I simply love their attitude.
  3. Two amazing people in the form of my ex-land ladies. Both brave-hearts and kind souls, one of a kind indeed, brilliant cooks, interesting company who made my stay with them most memorable and showered me with love/concern that I am truly grateful for. Another amazing person is a family friend of mine who since relocated to Banglore and has been very very affectionate and helpful to me during my Mumbai days :)
  4. Mumbai Roadside eateries - Be it the Mumbai sandwich (veg toast and the numerous cousins or alu slice sandwich) or Sev Puri or Paani Puri or Pav Bhaaji, Mumbai chat especially the Chat items leaves my mouth watering at the very thought of it. Now any craving for these will be difficult to satisfy :( ....
  5. Marathi - Bargaining with the grocery seller or vegetable vendor in hindi and understanding/pretending to understand some of the marathi they spoke was an experience indeed. My landlord tried his best until recently to teach me Marathi by purposely speaking in Marathi and explaining words or sentences that I didnt understand. To my small credit I also tried earnestly albiet for a few days to read the learn Marathi in 30 days book but unfortunately day 4 itself hasn't seen light. Expected when one frames hindi sentences with marathi words (using the book) that sound funny at best :)
  6. Mumbai rains - Amazing is the word for the Mumbai rains. Am going to miss getting wet in them, or munching a warm toast sandwich in a gentle drizzle, or buying a trademark umbrella each season and trying my best not to loose it. Dodging the puddles, wrongly forecasting the need to carry an umbrella, avoiding splashes of rainwater from passing vehicles are possibly things I would be happy missing
  7. Local Trains - Miss them ? Definitely yes :) Its an experience indeed - only the local trains can teach you how to get off a running train and run on to the railway overbridge, how to get on to a train that barely stopped, how to find the place next to the door in the direction of the wind, how to enjoy the wind standing at the door of the train (with fm on), how you can count small wins on correctly predicting the person who would be getting down soon and asking for their seat before the person next to you does, and make carrying newspaper along just to cover the wet seats on a rainy day a habit ... Of course you do also end up meeting interesting people on the train sometimes - like the women who feeds dogs from a running train, or the woman who volunteers to help you carry overweight bags in a crowded train and even drops you home since it is on her way - all for nothing in return.
  8. Significant others- Like some of my favourite doctors (dentist, dermatologist etc), my tailor, Naturals ice cream parlours, my cute little flat, Nirmal Lifestyle where I used to spend half my weekends, Chembur market, Cream corn curd at Noodle bar, Mumbai FM stations, Matunga restaurants and temples, and my office or soon to be ex-office needless to say .....