I don't know why I havt titled this post as "Back to" Bombay. You come "back to" a place only if you have stayed there for a significant amount of time in the recent past.
Through the last 4 years, I have had the opportunities to visit many many new places. And I can't be more thankful to God for that. All such places have given me only great memories, great new friends. So much, that I actually don't know what to say when people ask "Where are you from?". I generally answer Chennai. But somehow, that answer never seemed right.
Now, I am in Bombay (FYI: I call this megalopolis 'Bombay' while talking in Hindi or English & Mumbai while conversing in Marathi). I haven't stayed at this place since 1993. And memories of when you were just 6 years old are obviously very very faded. So technically, even Bombay should feel like a new place to me. However, the 1st 10 days have belied these expctations.
There is an air of familiraity this time. For the first time in almost an year, autowallahs know a language which I know too. I somehow remember many of the roads, bus numbers, train stations.
Travelling in this city has seemed like reminiscing with an old friend. People here lead stressful lives from 9 to 5. More strenous than any other city in India. But, almost everyone I know takes back home a smiling face and an appreicable amount of vigor still left in him or her.
This city invigorates you like no other place does. After my first week, I thought I might end up sleeping the entire weekend. Instead, what transpired was a fantastic sunday with old school chums at Marine Drive. Inshallah, I will have many such fun weekends in this city. If the first 10 days are anything to go by, these 2 months are going to be something!!