Mumbai Days #BlogchatterBlogHop

 


I was driving through the heavy rains when nostalgia hit me. Mumbai rains, the marine drive, the Juhu beach and him. The past occupies your head in the most unexpected of times, and the memories tend to fill you with a longing for the days gone by. I was new in Mumbai then. Didn’t know a thing about surviving alone, managing finances, cooking, doing laundry or getting groceries. I thrived on street food, and office food courts. My roommate would urge me to learn cooking, some days pulling me off the bed to make the dough or roll the rotis. Thanks to her that I learnt many-a life skills during that phase, that are helping me even today. We would rush to the DMart after office hours for getting cheap groceries, use the local train to travel in the weekends and explore the city somehow tackling the heavy crowd. Colaba shopping, visit Bandra fort, Siddhi Vinayak darshan, Iskcon temple, Forum Mall, etc. But some weekends would be reserved for him.

He would pick me up from my PG, and we would walk, without an agenda in mind, have cutting chai or dabeli from the street stalls. Some days we would go to Juhu beach and walk hand in hand, watching the sun set in the horizon swallowed by the sea. We would walk and talk and cover almost three or four kilometers in a day. He would bore me with random facts about an old building, old museum or architecture, or the stock market whenever we were out of topics. Prithvi Theatre seemed the most happening place then. We would have coffee in one place, have pav bhaji in another, watch a movie here, a stand-up comedy show there, while away time in Phoenix Mall or Forum Mall, talk random things, make plans to visit this national park and that modern art gallery. Time went fast with him. I wish the days lasted longer. Evenings would mean return journey to the PG. And my roommate would be waiting eagerly to have all the deets of the day.

Then covid came. And with it the countrywide lockdown. And our once-a-month meets were no longer possible. All travel was restricted. And we became long distance. Amidst the fear and panic of what was going on outside, we found solace in phone conversations and WhatsApp chats. Some days he would explain me economics concepts for two or three hours and I would listen like a perfect student. Sometimes I would tell him the entire story of a book I was reading, lash out at the antagonists and gush for the male protagonist. We would share movie and sitcom recommendations. We would yearn to meet. Plan for the future together. Plan how to tell our families. Miss home together, for we were so far from home.

“Careful!!” I heard him say and my reverie was broken. The potholes were menacing here. Bangalore roads were not for lazy and languid driving. “Oh,“ I murmured. Now glancing at the side seat I see him holding the grocery bags, watching over me driving with nervous scrutiny. Three years down the line from Mumbai times, we did end up together, our plans did work out. The universe did conspire. I am filled with gratitude.

 

 

This post is a part of Blogchatter Blog Hop.

Comments

  1. 'we would walk, without an agenda in mind' reminds me of spending my college days with my now husband. Walking hand in hand for hours, stopping for sugarcane juice and some pani puri and just listening to him passionately about what's on his mind. Really miss those days. Your story made me nostalgic.

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Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

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  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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