Yearning for Mumbai

In retrospect, 2006-2007 in Mumbai was almost magical. Memories really age very sweetly, and random snippets of the Mumbai days form a collage, that floats tantalizingly before me, and makes me want to take a plunge into memory, with the hope that I find myself back in Mumbai.
  • Having just settled into IIT, immensely enjoying the course work (having discovered a passion for mathematics, that I never knew I had), enjoying the placement team responsibilities even more, and having found (after quite a long settling period, much like a semester) a good group of friends, and along with them, impromptu plans for Dinner at Hiranandani and Chakras and Mainland China and evening jaunts into Crossword or Coffee Day or suddenly planned night shows in Huma, I had quite a packed week in IIT (not to mention, the LAN connection and a slew of movies and TV shows).
  • Life just after B.Tech, had taken my friends to different places. Some were working, some were pretending to work, and some were in America. But, most (including me) were earning money. All this meant that, we had money to make calls to one and all, and enough masala to keep talking. Long evening walks from the main gate to Hostel-12, late evenings in Nerul, soaking in the cool breeze and immersed in the distant noise of autos and trucks, late nights in C-110, H-12, sitting on the window sill, music playing ever so softly on my computer, looking at planes taking off and landing far out in the sky, and other H-12 inmates chatting down below, were spent talking into the phone, exchanging stories, life fundaes and dreams and ambitions and plans and the like.
  • (Although it was pretty irritating then) Waiting for the 524 every Friday afternoon, and getting back home, always timing the trip and looking at high tide/low tide occurrence on the Vashi bridge, and getting amazed at the beautiful drive from Mankhrud to Vashi Toll Naka. Or even, the days before I ‘discovered’ 524, and sticking in the train, being pushed back by the wave of people alighting at Kurla, and fighting back the hordes of people waiting to get in, or running in the foot over bridge as the Panvel train just enters Kurla and making it in just as the train pulls away.
  • Monsoon weekends spent sitting at the window, by the breeze, watching cricket and downing cups and cups of tea, Sunday morning eating binge, afternoon naps without the fan and with the amazing sea breeze.
  • Evening walks in Nerul, and the book store by the station, which ‘loaned’ books. The illiterate but amazing book dealer, who knew just the right books and would-be best-sellers (mostly because he knew which titles are in demand in the pirated book market)
  • Evening trips into Vashi and Center One, unlimited window shopping, and dinners at Navaratna or Dwaraka. Or evening trips to the Nerul Balaji temple, and the awesome view of the hills, the skyscrapers and the sea from the temple.
  • Mumbai Rains.
  • The chai and biscuit at KReSIT, and the geeky discussions there with lab mates. Night outs with Bhatta and Haddi discussing everything under the sun.
  • Hawaiian Shack.
  • The trip back to IIT on Monday mornings, following the airplanes that were landing. The bus took the route on road that the planes took by air. Of counting the airplanes and of trying to steal a glance a the logo. And dreams of being in one of them, taking me to America, and imagining the American life, staying alone, cooking, grocery shopping, potlucks, research, movies, long drives.
The grass seems to be greener on the continent that I am not in. The glorious Mumbai days, were spent, making my own ‘picture’ of the American life, coloured by friendly inputs during weekend calls and skype and gmail chats, online forums of students going abroad, blogs of desi’s in America, and yearning for the day I will land there.

And, now that I am living that dream, the Mumbai days seem so much more glorious, so much more beautiful, so much more desirable and so much like a dream…

I also wanted to write a extremely long post titled India Trip – Review, but realized later that the India trip memories need some more time pickling inside me, because, much in the spirit of this blog, memories from the past are much much much more romantic, and writing about them, so much more pleasing, as I can freeze frame at every tiny incident that remains in my memory and savour them. Writing about trips while they are still fresh, is not so much fun.

  1. #1 by Ammalu on January 31, 2009 - 4:51 pm

    I think Mumbai has this captivating effect on everyone who has been there, my aunt still talks about the one month she spend in Mumbai back in the 80s..Hope you start living the mumbai dream soon πŸ™‚

  2. #2 by kaushik on January 31, 2009 - 8:12 pm

    yes! the city grows on you…

    but for me, I am missing it because for the first time I had an amazing balance between being with family and hanging out with friends πŸ™‚

    The pity is I did not realize that until I met my friends in Bangalore this January…

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