With a lot of aspirations in my eyes, I boarded my flight to Mumbai only to be welcomed by a landscape of potholed roads, snailing cars and blue slums! It was raining, as I had been told it would. The pilot warned of a heavy thunderstorm. ‘What a poor time to debut this city!’, I mumbled. I hated this metropolitan.
But this city took me to a surprise when I was greeted with a pickup from a person I had never expected. We used to talk on and off, regarding work and everything else for two days and then being mute for two weeks. This was the fashion we followed. But every time we talked, we put aside our grudges to pile up on what we’d missed the time we didn’t communicate. The drive from the airport to our workplace was a long one. I didn’t mind the traffic because I wanted to look around and get absorbed in the Mumbai air. The view from the sea link was breathtaking even in the broad daylight.
Never had I seen fishermen before, who sailed in boats to arrange their bread and butter. The whole scene of seeing South Bombay in the back shore beautified by the Mahim Bay accessorized by tiny boats, sailors and birds made way for one of the most serene mornings I had in a very long time. In his words, I was sitting like a curious kid, making sure, not to miss a single glimpse of the town. At around 10 in the morning, I could see many (read, too many) people sitting by the Marine Drive.
Day one passed with little success, more disappointment and a sad lone dinner at my hotel room. The second day had to beat the blues of the previous day. I was thankfully blessed with a very talkative and informative driver by Ola who helped me list some really important places to visit. He slowed down the car every time there was a place that deserved at least a brief sight if not a visit. Be it the posh Peddar Road or the Jaslok Hospital which became famous because of Amitabh Bachchan or the Mahalaxmi temple or Haji Ali or a famous juice centre or his last organization, the ride from Colaba to Lower Parel was a detailed one. The end of the day was worth all the efforts put in and the mission was accomplished! And I also met some superb people who made the workplace feel like it’s not actually just work.
Saturday called in with innumerable things in countable hours. Colaba was a heaven in disguise, a haven for everything a girl would ask for, earrings, stoles, dresses, more earrings, footwear, desserts, some more earrings, shorts, bags and even more earrings. I also royally ended up buying almost everything I could bargain on. Next up was meeting an old colleague, Ankita with whom I had always talked on phone and shared a mutual crush on one of our leaders. Thanks to her, I inaugurated my first Kaali-Peeli ride to Churchgate which had a government law college and a lot of eateries right in front apart from the beautiful St. Thomas Cathedral Church. We met, ate and walked to the Marine Drive to sit and chat. The thoughts that were hovering my mind when I drove from the place about people sitting here that they have a lot of time to kill and apparently no work to do, took a 360 degree turn when I sat there.
It must be just a minute or so that I got so soaked into the place that at one point, all my worries seemed minute, my life started becoming purposeful, I started missing my family, my temper seemed like my worst enemy and I wanted to just sit and get mesmerized.
We had to now rush to other places too in the few hours that we had. She made me eat the best paani-puris at Elco, made me buy yet another bag at a whopping discount, took me to Salman’s residence where there already were a couple of fans waiting for him and clicking pictures. We were then joined by yet another friend, Upasana, who I had least anticipated would come out. A great dinner with the two beautiful ladies made this night a special one!
Sunday called for a showdown. I woke up early to roam the streets and spend some more time with myself. Colaba streets had so much to offer. The always-buzzing-with-people Gateway of India and the lusty Taj Hotel were a treat for the eyes. I wanted to end the journey with meeting an aide who couldn’t make it and hence I walked up to the vintage Leopold Café to meet a German who was a traveler and suggested me to have the special pasta that the café served. It was now time to fly back to my city and during the flight, I happened to be seated with an ‘alien’ AGM! Alien because he’s never encountered social networking sites apart from LinkedIn and he wanted a mention in my blog minus his identity. He had also advised me to become a ‘corporate baba’ and enlighten the lost youth (like, really?)! Also, he is now addicted to the HaikuJAM app that I promoted like an avid ambassador!
All in all, Mumbai was a treat. It taught me how essential it is to pamper yourself (once in a while, at least), setting the priorities right, letting go off the past baggage, filtering the toxic people, staying warm with people who matter, trusting your instincts and to keep walking forward.
It’s time I silently cry that I’m now back to my city with more humidity, more temperature, more monotony and start with groom hunting now!
*howls in a corner*