Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Heart Gives In

Its just easier to love the city/ cities you grow up in. Its just so much easier to accept it and love it with all its shortcomings and faults, and continue loving it. Its different after you grow up (assuming you do) and move to a city, its very different ... you need reasons to like the city. How does it makes you feel? What does it give you? How does it impact your life? What kind of a feel does it have?
For me there are a lot of reasons to not like Bombay, also there are some to like it. But there is one reason which kind of made me give the city a little place in my heart. Its a city which is festive during festivals. Its a city which is out and out festive and vibrant and colorful and noisy and crowded and musical and excited during any festival. Its a festivity you see on every street and road and society and chawl.

It might be Ganpati, Janmashtmi, Diwali, Xmas ... you see lights everywhere, people covered in colors, dancing in the streets to that strange rythmic but hardly musical drumbeat which I've heard in no other part of India. At Diwali there are these big, huge colorful lanterns everywhere - the ones I've called kandeels since childhood, they are everywhere! And then they give was to Xmas and new year decorations.

Its almost like a festival comes and people come out of their tortoise-like hard, unbreakable shells of apathy to celebrate. And though it makes me lonelier at times, I do like that a lot :)


Dusty Fog said...

that city has a lot going for it....personally the biggest flaw is that it can make a person feel quite lonely even while in a crowd...hated that bit, during my one year's stay in Mumbai...!!!

Jack Sparrow said...

I hate Bombay. I think its full of dirt and sweat and the smell of people working hard and the sound of industry and the sight of the sea and traffic cops taking bribes and street kids running around and rickshaws and trains and skyscrapers and slums and pain and anguish and happiness and success ... and love.

Ah, who am I kidding. I love Bombay. I just hate that it's so damn far away.

Ashwin said...

I love Bombay... and I know EXACTLY what you mean. Just yesterday, I passed a Ganesh procession while traveling home. Watching all those people dance and whistle, I remember thinking to myself - hmm... that's infectious.

I think in spite of all the rudeness, the crass language and all the rage, people in Bombay are just people who want to be happy, and they're looking for any excuse to celebrate.

The Nomad said...

Truthfully, I cant't say I love the city. Also can't say that I hate it. It gives me a lot but it also leaves much to be desired for.
I thought of all the people from Bombay who are my close friends or who I like and I found that though they all love everything about the city, to my mind all of them in some way are not the core Bombay people.I know all/some of them may object mightily to this, but hey, that's my view :)

The Big Bad Wolf said...

ok, what do you mean by core bombay people?

to me i think what i love most abt bombay are the people. Just living there makes you have a certain mentality - a certain stretching of your mind. Here in Dubai, with just a few minutes in conversation I can identify if a person is a bombayite or not. Its just a part of you, in the way you are...And having so many good friends out there, its feels great to know that im from the coolest city in the world :D. No matter where I go, I know I'll always be a Bombayite at heart.

The Nomad said...

BBW, :) that's what the first few lines of the post say; the people, memories,countless growing up experiences and years are enough to make one to fall in love and feel like that for any city.Each one for their own city.

Each city has its uniqueness.And I'm never the one to say - I'm sure my expereince was better than yours or my love is greater than yours!So while I agree with your expereince and love; will do so for the next person's.

Strecthing of the mind, I'm not so sure about, for me it is a much wider term. Which is what I was referring to when I meant 'non-core' for some people :)

Just another Indian said...

the first line of ur post works wonders for me ... bombay with all its festivities and celebrations is not a city to live in ..
may be it is a city to celebrate ..
so for me .. i wanna leave bombay as soon as i can ... and come back every festival may be ;)

The Nomad said...

@ Indian: If I thought of leaving all the time I could never settle enough to live in any city. So the thing to do is find the things you can love about the city :)

Just another Indian said...

i never felt like leaving any of the other cities / towns I lived in .. its just that i ve figured that i dont wanna live in a metro ..