Thursday, July 20, 2006

Nice post Vicky.

But do you really think that a life in suburbia with a nice white picket fence and 2.3 kids and a black labrador is what you want? I'm not so sure because if that's what you wanted then why were you in love with Bombay to begin with? Unless you're really rich you ain't never gonna get a picket fence in Bombay. But you know that already.

A life in Bombay does unfortunately involve flooded streets, bus strikes and the kids begging on the trains. Those aren't the things that endear anyone to Bombay. And the things that do aren't really that easy to pick out. Maybe it's the thick black smoke that causes pretty girls' faces to break out into acne, maybe it's the humidity that makes summers unbearable and that standing bus ride from Churchgate to Borivali all the more hateful. Or maybe it's the first shower in June that catches you unaware, ruining your favorite expensive silk tie but still leaving you happier because it's cooler now and your nightclothes won't stick. Perhaps it's the claustrophobically closely spaced buildings, that make open spaces seem special and sacred. Maybe it's khau galli or perhaps it's the little transistor radio's that everyone carries on the day that India is playing Pakistan. Maybe it's diwali chakli and besan laddus and shankarpali and chiwda or all those crazy kids running after those damn kites during sankranti. I don't know.

But I do know that if you choose the picket fence your life will never have that. It will be one day after another with the man of your dreams, in the same house, in the same neighborhood, attending the same cultural events, raising your kids and tolerating their bratty friends. It will sure be safer. But somehow I get the feeling you'll spend those years when your kids go off to college sitting and remembering Bombay. Smelling the smoke, tasting the garlic chutney in the morning vada-pav.

I don't know. Maybe I'm saying this because I'm safe here in Madison and I'm that much younger than you. Maybe it's because I miss Bombay, miss all those things that you take for granted. But on that Tuesday morning when I got an email from my brother telling me "everyone is safe" I never felt more helpless in my life. And when my mom got home at 10 pm and told me that she had been in the next compartment from one of the bombs, I swear I couldn't think straight for the rest of the day. I just wanted to hug her. But I couldn't and won't be able to for months. Because I'm safe here in Madison.

I guess I've rambled on. And probably not very coherently too. But really, don't make a decision that big based on a random act of terror pulled off by morons who don't value anything that decent people live by. If you are going to move, make it for something else.

2 comments:

i-me-moi said...

You couldn't have said it better. I couldn't have done any good at all. I guess distance makes the heart grow fonder after all, and you are futher by far as compared to me.

Blog access back on!! Hurrah!

Dusty said...

Hi, Landed here through Kaushik's blog. So glad your friends and family are safe. It was a scary time for Bombayites (so glad you still call it Bombay), it rocks, it really does.