Visiting a place you have left behind or people you are no more in daily contact with, because they are no more a part of your life, causes both a feeling of happiness as well as sadness. Let me explain.
Many moons ago, I came to stay in a city which was buzzing with life. Over the years, it made me, molding me from raw and ready clay to a finished good ready to take on the world. The city was Bombay.
I can’t say I was ever in love with the city – who can really be, if you have come from the laid back life of a small town, picturesque and beautiful. Yet, the cement blocks of which I was going to see a lot in later years as well, grew in me and the people became my family. Yes, they say, in Bombay, you do not need your family; your neighbours make up for your family.
After thirteen years, I escaped to another place, close to Bombay, where the quality of life resembled what I had left behind, long ago. So, why did I return to Bombay after eight years out of it?
I longed to be in the hustle bustle of daily life, waking up at 5 am to take a train at 7 am to reach my work place at 9 am! Five years and I was done.
One day, I sat and calculated the number of hours I was on the road and it worked out to be like this: Out of 12 months in a year, I was only living 8, because the rest of the time I was travelling! It hit me like a bolt from the sky and I said to myself – Hey! I am not going to live like this anymore.
Just at that time, love came knocking at my door and I opened it to find that I was already flying out to another place, a place I was going to call my home.
Fifteen years in one place, changes you, for better or for worse. But it has contributed more to me than I can measure. Delhi is my jaan, my love, my life now.
Returning to Bombay, only recently, I realized that I was tremendously happy to be there and it almost seemed that I would return, just like I had many years ago, after living 8 years in a place which gave me, ease and a good lifestyle. But early came a few warnings!
Friends and family I left behind years ago, were lukewarm. They were also busy – Still! Even over the weekend, they did not have the time to meet. I understood! Isn't Bombay the place, where you promise to meet friends almost every week but can make it only once every other year? So why blame them; I am forgotten not because there is a problem with me, but because, life is so fast, it is like the old cassette we used to have, where you overwrite and everything is wiped out. So too me.
And there were a few new associations which were so warm and welcoming that I almost stayed behind. But good providence and past experience warned me of the devil within and the carrot that always hangs before a donkey, before it makes another enormous mistake!
I think that creative upheaval is a very positive thing and it pushes you beyond yourself to achieve new dimensions. This is exactly my point of view why I upturned my life so many times for a new place where I could start from scratch once again. But this time, I was shy of it.
It is indeed hard to create your stability with a city. It takes years to do it. And once it is cemented, then, it is foolish to ruffle up everything and start all over again.
There might be a home for me out there, but really Bombay, I am done with you and while I enjoyed my years with you, indeed, you are only old wine that tastes sweet, sometimes.
Photo credit HERE