It’s almost been a year, thinking to myself in a crammed balcony while I separate myself from reality with the usual getaway ritual – chai and toast. All around me was noise. And as I sip and eat, I gaze down at people. The typical smell of Bombay, of congestion and chaos, was getting the best of me. At that moment, the Usain Bolt in me wanted to run and settle in the Himalayas. This was typically the first thought that crossed my mind each day as I persevere through failed hopes and fake-pleasing everyone.
All I was craving for was my bed back home and ‘mummy ke haath’ pakodas.
Ah Alas! It was only the first bummer of the day. Like I actually counted and waited for it. I was one those people, whose life started and ended at work. A 9-6 person was something that I never thought I’d become. With a horrible social life, friends I could count on my finger-tips and vada pav as my meals; I had become a slave to the“I’M WORKING! I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR LIFE” excuse.
I just wanted run into my mother’s arms and cry my heart out. But obviously, I couldn’t because I had to be the independent girl. Keeping myself strong, I finally decided to do something, one too many times done in Bombay. Hop into a train, catch a bogey to Marine Drive, and sit there amongst a thousand other people trying to ‘figure’ life out. OH LIKE MARINE DRIVE KNEW WHAT WAS TO BE DONE RIGHT IN MY LIFE.
So I went. Reached there in a glorious mess, helplessly trying to hold my tears before I sat with music plugged in, minding my own business. My heart told me to not leave this place until I had it all ‘figured’ out. Being the drama queen I am, I tuned into ‘Iktara’ from Wake Up Sid! A movie that has always been close to my heart, the song forces me to cry like a baby every time. People around me begin to stare at me weirdly. I wanted to shout and tell them how much I hated this city and what it had done to me!
Reminding myself to be as mature as possible, I pull myself back together after a heartfelt 15-minute moment. Maybe a breakdown in public was something that I really needed. I’d finally figure out why it was imperative to make my way in this big city and why it was okay to be crammed up in a 1BHK alone when you live with 20 million other people and still feel alone.
It suddenly was all okay. It was okay to make my own breakfast, it was okay to go out for a coffee alone and the biggest of them all; it was okay to stay away from family. This city is nothing but full of people giving off a uniform smell. Yet as though some magic spell, it casts onto you a reality to face Life. It lets you wear a mask but also help you to discover yourself.
From visiting Chor Bazar at 9pm to shopping at Crawford Market, alone, I knew that I could manage it all. I’d finally become who I’d want to be at 21. A girl who can live alone, an independent and strong girl who could take the shit that life threw at her. And she’d finally found a home – Bombay.
For all that matters, I stuck through the chaos and filth of a city and finally discovered myself.