I am living what seem to be the last few days here in this city. And yes the reference to the Priyanka Chopra Hall of Crap was just coincidental. It has a life this place like those scary horror movies that claim houses have spirits. Only this city is not scary, in fact it is the contrary. It lives and breathes every day. It sits with you in empty auto rides smiling and hugs the ocean on the Marine Drive from sunrise to sunset.
You can choose to be anyone here because the city is like that old friend who doesn’t judge you. It branches out into parts you probably haven’t seen before and yet holds it back together. There is a reason why the city has been a victim of more terror attacks than other Indian cities. It has this troubling sense of equilibrium; like it is going to descend to chaos any second and yet it hangs on, like an eternal pause. I suppose the terrorists would probably just think it is easy target to bring a nation down but unfortunately every time the city just gets a little ruffled and falls right back into its place as if nothing went wrong.
Unlike Delhi (and mind you it is my hometown and I love the city), people are not looking to pick fights with everyone else. They are instead all about doing their jobs. No wonder it is the financial capital because the culture is that of being industrious. There is no time for laziness, no afternoon siestas (unlike Kolkatta). This city means hard work even when it comes to art and music. It celebrates struggle and gives a grand prize to ones struggling the most. It has so many faces, you tend to lose count. Some days it is that old friend driving you home safe post a night of relentless partying at 1 30 AM. At others it is the boss who works you till the wee hours of the morning. It is also a parent who takes care of you and on many occasions, it is an actor that pretends there is no chaos in this world. The city is like many one night stands rolled into one. Every night you think you know it one bit better and in the morning it surprises you with a new twist in the story.
It is, of course, the people who make this city. I remember a taxi driver telling me this one day he explained why Mumbai is so safe and Delhi isn’t. His logic was that the men in this city come from their homes and earn for their families and send back money. For them, their job is of utmost importance, people are too busy making ends meet to even consider a crime. In Delhi, however, there is no such transience. I have another theory. In the heart of Maharashtrian culture, there lies this inherent respect for women. Perhaps something that slowly erodes as you go up north. Mumbai thankfully has managed to hold on to everything that is good in each culture and build its own humanity.
I didn’t even realize when this city became my best friend until I was sitting alone in an auto, Muhammad Rafi playing in the background and the auto driver quaintly humming “Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya”. That’s what it does, this city. It has an eternal friendship with life and you don’t even realize it and it has found a place in your heart.
1. Everyone is nice unless proved otherwise.
2. No one is out to get you (unlike what you believed or were made to believe as a child)
3. Sometimes we love people even when we hate them. And at other times we love them when we love them.
4. Childhoods can in fact be happy.
5. Good memories are hard to come by. We should pen them down the moment we remember them. We should not write down the bad ones because they only instill revenge
6. Revenge is a useless weapon. It’s a double edged sword that kills both you and your opponent
7. Indifference is a far bigger and better weapon than revenge; it sets you free and makes your opponent feel like an ant.
8. Gut feelings are real; listen to them and trust them!
9. “If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you won’t give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy. … Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” Bob Marley
10.The sick and twisted men in Delhi, who are likely to rape women, will rape you whether or not you smile on the streets. If you are forever in danger, might as well smile through your fear.
11.Never read the books you read as a child when you grow up; the world has destroyed your innocence and you can’t earn it back by rereading childhood favorites
12.Read your favorite novel once every month. It reminds you that deep down you really haven’t changed
13.Be unconditional in love; and stop expecting the unconditionality from anyone but yourself because that then makes it all conditional.
14.Express your fears openly; the more you talk about it the less scary it seems.
15.Faith in God doesn’t have to be explicit, it’s ok to pray only when we are sad because we are all rarely happy anyway
16.Suicidal thoughts are not an effect of any kind of depression. Sometimes they just stem from curiosity.
17.While I am not the best person anyone could hope to meet, I am not the worst either, I have come to believe in the beauty of mediocrity.
18.How we see the world is a reflection of how we see ourselves. Hence, the point number 1.
19.Self pity is just another word for procrastination
20.Having fixed ideas eventually kills you.
21.Scratch the above 20 ideas 😦
We walk through our valleys of fear
Into the dying dawn
It’s all just peaches and pears
Until you find everything around was wrong
First it’s hundreds then thousands in the mind
The thoughts of death
Running crazy and blind
“We are not to die”, she said
“Not so quickly in life”
I am in a deeper myth my friend
For you I walked past the knife
Little, of course, can you say to this
You who embraced it like a friend
You who looked past the ignorance
Straight into a peaceful end
You who claimed it away
You don’t get to take what’s mine
Or is it yours too?
For now I will be fine
But one day I shall seek you out
No poetry or prose
Can cut me through the sorrow
Of a burial rose
You are nothing and everything
You are my dark horse
Wrapped around a noose ring
I will come over, come over one day
O Sylvia, one day’s today today…
P.S: For those who don’t know their story Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath were best friends and they openly spoke of confessional poetry and the idea of suicides that they were constantly plagued with. This here is my tribute to the friendship