Monday, June 24, 2019

Dreaming of other things

This June, I completed four years in Mumbai. Bombay.

I was astounded - it couldn't be, I told myself. It couldn't be that I had been away from home, from Pune, for four years and I could still be this...restful. I no longer haunt the tree-lined bylanes of Fergusson College road, no longer sit on the steps of the cake shop drinking pathetic coffee spewed by an angry machine, and I no longer beat the dhol when the skies darken and the cries of Ganapati Bappa Morya echo through the streets. I don't write as much anymore, and I don't read as much I used to. I don't dream that wildly nor do I make tall statements that have no basis in reality other than  my fervent desire to make them come true.

I am not that person anymore. 

I am a Bombay person now. I carry an umbrella everywhere, I have m indicator on my phone, and I time my life not by hours, but by minutes.

I stay in a rented flat with walls that are white and clean, and the only hint of my personality is a large dreamcatcher that catches dust more than it does my dreams. I do not know my neighbours - they don't know me, they don't care to know me. I don't blame them. It is difficult to see a never ending stream of working professionals walk in through the door - girls tall, short, smart, bespectacled, loud, shy - all on their way somewhere - anywhere but here. That's when I know I am in Bombay Navi Mumbai.

Dual Existence.

That's what I see it as. Split between today - this moment, and the memory or this moment, and the longing.

I'm in office, working on an excel sheet that perhaps nobody is ever going to see, and I'm in Seogwipo, on Seongsan Ilchulbang seeing the waves break their hearts over the dark, rocky shore.

I am painstakingly cutting an onion, and I'm on Sinhagad, eating dahi from an earthen pot.

I am cleaning out my wardrobe, and I am playing with Prakhar.

I am walking to the canteen, and I am walking down to the dining hall to eat the same old matki usal.

I am sitting by the window, looking at the night sky through the haze of Bombay, and I am sitting by the window, looking at the night sky through the haze of Bombay.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

From Campus to Corporate

I am now a part of those who are gainfully employed. I have joined the ranks of the 9 am to 6 p crowd. I am now one of those women wearing inappropriate footwear in Mumbai rains and expensive jackets that serve vanity more than utility. I am now one of those women who talk about the targets for the year and clip clop around the office in dangerous heels. I am one of those women who lug a laptop bag everywhere and give presentations in slick meeting rooms. I am all that and hope to be more.

This transition to corporate did not feel like a shock - four fieldworks have ensured that. Rather it feels like slipping into old shoes that I had stopped wearing (why these shoe metaphors today, I wonder). 

But that does not mean I do not miss TISS campus. I crave the green lattice on damp roads, the steel tables and the smell of hot tea in the DM canteen, the rain drenched amphitheater, and the smell of cold rain on hot soil. 

But in the past weeks, I have sat through numerous talks about my new company, and slowly I am coming to terms with it - the size and the shape of it, the sounds of it and the smell of it. I am coming to realize its geography and its nature, and somewhere within me I feel the slow unfurling of presentiment. I feel my wings flutter. 

Is this what growing up is? 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Gudetama is my soulmate

Have you met Gudetama yet? He's the lazy egg.

Say hello. He probably won't say anything back, he's lazy that way so I totally understand.

He spends his time being fried, boiled, cut and made to suffer other indignities, but he always prevails and returns to spread the noble message of indolence. He clutches to a strip of bacon as a blanket, is always tired and his past-time is lying tiredly.

I totally get him.

I love him.

Thank you, Mohita for the introduction. You may now call yourself the duenna of matchmaking business.