When i first came to Bombay.. like any other young actress looking for the big break, it all seemed dreamy and beautiful.. the endless roads with just enough traffic..the numerous coffee shops , affordable yet expensive because they became a daily luxury..the known faces primarily famous on a small scale sitting in the limelight of the offspring of the evening blaze with a glass of wine at WTF or conversing over coffee at Costa or Bru was just a routine event like taking a shower or brushing my teeth every morning..oh so common.. no one here looks at them in awe.. no one cares.. because everyone is important here.. or I guess they like feeling that they are.. but thats not wrong.. not entirely untrue.. for whatever work they did.. they would always get to go back home and eat "ghar ka khana" and make wild passionate love to one..two..or maybe many..
I began timid.. very unaware of the disguises..
I still remember being on the streets.. spending a night and an exceptionally beautiful dawn at Oshiwada bus-depot.. sittng on my travel trolley placed upright and rocking myself to sleep.. one of the many experiences that makes us realize important stuff.. makes us stronger in so many ways that are unknown to the sheltered.. the stench of the stained side walls because of frequent hurried urination is what kept me from falling off to a dreamless sleep that would tug on my eye lids as i struggled to stay awake.. The empty busses like giants waiting for the liaisons of war to command them forward made me feel secure as if they would protect me from everything real and unreal.. I wouldn't lie.. I felt disgusted at first and missed if not beautiful porcelain plates and clean linen but definitely my bed back home..the varnished wooden floors of the library and most of all... Ma..
But gradually when i grew stronger with the stench, the security of the formidable busses, i started feeling at peace.. such peace that i have never known.. What was making me happy? the slow movement of the wind that would at times expose my face to the darkness by lifting away the veil of unruly..unwashed hair or the sudden grins of the metal on the sidewalks that would chuckle light as if they were mocking me.. ?
Why indeed was i happy?
i realized late but i did eventually.. the thought that something was achieved.. the feeling of accomplishment.. the tired attempts to gather my life together breaking into dawn.. the solace of being safe.. and the immense pride of a 20 year old surviving the vengeance of an alien city... thats what made me happy.. i had won... the war was over..
Maybe i didn't make any material gains.. no deals signed..no agreements agreed to.. but i was free.. with more conviction in my stride as i looked Bombay in the eye and said in my mind," Someday you shall be tamed.."
And she smiled..
I have learnt a lot from this magical city.. She's taken a part of my soul everyday and tended her wounds.. she has stolen a stray bit of my fragrance and whispered it away to the sea.. She has injured me just to take away a vial of my tears to water the trees.. I feel broken at times..
But what keeps me alive in this mad mad world????
A part of me that lives on ...in the trees..the breeze..the sea.. the wounds of Bombay.................