....What happened since I disappeared:
i. I got a job. I am also incredibly happy it’s with an organisation I have always wanted to be a part of two months into the course. People tried to convince me that it’d pay me peanuts and I should go back. My father even offered to support me for the next two years if I agree to do an MBA. I mulled over the proposition for some time and decided to stay back. I think I am too much in love with this city at the moment to leave it now. Did I hear someone calling me ‘stupid’ and ‘irrational’? Yes, my entire clan back home.
ii. I went home twice only to realise that I was feeling like a tourist in my own city. Not a nice realisation.
iii. I came close to murdering my religious nut of a landlord and his wife. At least thrice.
iv. I’d like to believe that as the years add up I keep getting wiser and have realised that what I want and what I can have are two entirely different things. But only yesterday I made a shopping list for love and it turned out my idea of The One is a cross between Michael Scoffield and Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, or Gregory House and Richard Castle. What? You cannot have a rational argument with that part of my brain which makes these decisions.
v. I think I have screwed up my karma and earned Yaamraj’s wrath; my days are numbered and I am on my way to meet my maker soon. I almost fell off a ridge in Lonavala. My day feels incomplete if I haven’t got electric shocks from the iron. I got literally thrown out from the ladies’ compartment in the train twice. I was two minutes away from getting run over right by a Bentley in front of college. (“Wow! You’d have died a Bentley-crushed death!” was the exact words spoken by S after that. Good to know I have people in my life who will not only spot the silver lining in every goddamn cloud but will also hold me by the neck and point it out to me.) My friend G’s boyfriend tried to kill me by drowning in Kashid, thereby leaving me auditorily impaired for two weeks and emotionally scarred for a lifetime. Pointless exaggeration aside, keep me in your prayers this year will you?
vi. I shifted to the suburbs only to have my heart broken in the process of leaving South Bombay. I have decided when I am insanely rich/married to an insanely rich man/successfully pull off my first bank robbery and somehow get away with it (I am still working on the plan so kindly do not sneer), I will buy a house overlooking the sea that looks exactly like the David Sassoon Library or one of those gorgeous old Parsee buildings on Princess Street or in Cusrow Bagh and live there. Some time in the next forty years I see this dream coming true so I feel partly mollified.
vii. I spent ten grand on books. My mother called me up to say that back home, my books are dying a silverfish eaten death and that she wants me to take them with me. I have no clue how to shift them all from one house to another. Plus there are three hideously large suitcases to shift too. I wish I hadn’t bought anything. I wish I hadn’t lived so close to Colaba. The part of the brain which always screams “I told you so” keeps getting increasingly and annoyingly louder every day.
viii. We had a red carpet awards night in college and I was made the Head of Logistics. The work basically entailed going without food for fourteen hours at a stretch, trying to make vendors and workers understand your bad South Calcutta Bong-accented Hindi, spending two sleepless nights back-to-back, screaming matches with your teammates, wearing harem pants and Hong Kong t-shirt (my ‘Chhotu’ t-shirt. You know, the kind servants named ‘Chhotu’ of the house or chai shops wear. I can easily pass for Chhotu. Put a gamchha on my shoulder and I see an alternate career opportunity right in front of my nose) during the event when everyone else is looking extremely pretty/dapper (depending on the gender) in their dresses and suits, running frantically and manning the backstage, doing last-minute damage control etc etc. The event was a huge success (this, an understatement); we got excellent media coverage too and our professor personally took the three of us, Chadha, Reetika and me out and bought us beer and kebabs. My first meal of that day, yes you got it right. J
ix. I travelled. Not as extensively as I’d have liked (‘I am still living off parents’ and ‘college is pretty anal about 75% attendance and all that’ being some of the reasons). But I went to Coorg in October followed by Lonavala and Kashid. I went to Kanheri on a beautiful rainy day and got dragged to the same place exactly two days later by Chadha. We trekked to the top, soaked to the bone; the orgasmic view of the Powai Lake and the surrounding greenery was worth the cramp in Chadha’s cuff muscles and my bleeding toe. Really.
|Way to Kanheri.|
|We tried to be all brilliant and stuff with the camera.|
|My 'Jack Torrance' moment in Coorg|
|Random lake beside Harangi Dam, after a heavy shower|
|that disturbing moment when after taking the photo you realise|
subject is...err...relieving himself
x.i. It’s been a tough year. But one I was looking forward to since December 2010. Assignment shit hit the ceiling so many times we felt like running away. The professors kept saying that this is nothing and that it will be worse when we start working; if it was meant to motivate us to get our asses moving, it clearly did not help. August to October was a blur of presentations, agency visits, last-minute submissions, sleepless nights, endless fights, people falling sick (from common cold to massive strokes, we’ve seen it all.), breakups, shouting matches, fallouts and whatnot. But this city is also officially my first home outside home...you know ‘home’ as I’ve known it till now. It feels like home too. There’s something for everyone. It gives you a lot of personal space. Much has been said about its incredibly fast pace. People back home arch eyebrows and mutter something about “Bombay girl...short short dresses...o toh bokhe gechhe” under their breath. The city is made out to be an indifferent heartless monster in movies but my experiences have been very different. The people I have met, my two roommates (more on them, later), some of the professors, random people on the road, in the train, in old Parsee cafes with whom I have struck up conversations- the unforgettable motley experiences made it very difficult for me to leave the city for Delhi or go back to Kolkata. It is a heady mix of everything; It is home.
I am glad it happened.
|Maratha Mandir. One rainy afternoon.|
P.S: The gorgeous Coorg photos have been taken by friend, momma and fabulous artwork creator Suryaa Bhattacharya.