I'm a Goan woman, working in Mumbai as the founder of a studio called Totem Creative. I try to make the world happier, safer and more meaningful. I believe education, knowledge and awareness, art, writing and creating Social Impact are my means to achieve that end.



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mumbai TERI jaan hogi.

The day I reached I had a lot to think about. I had nothing much to do. I was at my aunt's place. It was a clean pretty big flat (for Mumbai) and her room was very Anita Maushi-ish. She had her comfort food and furniture, her cushions and curtains all placed. I told myself whatever would happen to me in a month would be fulfilling and I would learn a lot from my workplace and the city.

That very day mum called, saying Ashok Uncle was insisting that I'd stay with him and his family. I knew I could adjust anywhere, but I somehow I wasn't sure about my comfort levels coming to normal. I didn't want Anita Maushi to take any trouble to host me either. So I agreed, swallowing in any insecurities and fears.
A while later, two of my best friends called. Their place was terrible. It was in an unsafe area in Goregaon, and they had no water all morning. Their luggage was with me. They left the room and ended their contract with the broker who fleeced them at arrival like a hungry vulture. So they spent the night with us as it poured outside. Mumbai was very unwelcoming. I spent the day calling every broker, every individual wanting a roommate and every PG that could offer my friends accommodation.
We spent the next day looking at all the places we'd found. I learnt the train routes and names and dragged them along with me. I felt protective. I wanted to make sure they were fine. At the end of the day they confirmed a place in Andheri W with a rent of 8 grands. I was at peace.

That very evening I left for my mum's friend's place on day 3. I wondered, as Anita Maushi picked me up from Dadar station, how they would be. We passed by Bandra, the only appealing place so far. I thought, sure, they're my around age, but will they be those spoiled Bombay kids? The dopy crowd who doesn't have a care int he world? Or my kind. A kind I cannot define - and mind you, there are very few people I can understand and associate with without discomfort.

Tanvi and Karan turned out to be the coolest friends I'd made overnight. Their family was so welcoming I felt like a part of it in two days. Toulouse, their basset hound - was adorable (this was my first impression) and Uncle and Aunty seemed like the nicest parents.

Mumbai however, did not grow on me. The workplace was allright, but I could not stand the quiet formal exchange of looks. There were terrifying discussions in Suresh's (my boss') office - he gave the wide-eyed stares as sweat trickled on my forehead. It was quite the opposite of an Animation Studio. It was more like - a FIRM. Eventually I got myself together. En would be with me at office most of the time. Without him I would want to leave. Tanvi would talk to me at the end of the day, and I could look forward to home food and Karan's wackiness.
(Basically you guys, this is my way of saying thank-you - if you've read it so far.)

The place doesn't grow on you. The people do.
As I sleep on my comforting mattress tonight, I miss the sour smell of toulouse on the blankets and sheets. My legs, sticking out and being moved in the morning by the person who sits at the computer in front of the bed. I miss that annoying dog. Karan's dining table stories that made us all die and pee laughing.
(true story.) I miss not getting sleep because I got busy chatting. Giving Karan his pillows and sheets, and chatting with Tanvi about psychology and Apu. Her day. Cold sparkle coffees at CCD and the horrible buses and local trains. What wonderfully weird moments.

That was the weirdest 1 month vacation I've ever had. Thanks to all you guys who make my life interesting. Moreover those, who make it challenging. I love you.