When I moved to the city of Mumbai last year at this time, full of uncertainty and a single note focus on getting a job, I ignored the city’s magnetic charm and built a defense against falling in love with it. Because I didn’t want to hurt myself, by falling in love.
After spending about eight months, the walls broke down one by one. The nonchalance, the subtle care and the ethnic pride mixed with countless immigrant ethnicities and colonial heritage revealed the magical feeling of being a woman and being able to travel in a rideshare taxi, across anywhere in the city late at night, alone. Touchwood.
Because the city never sleeps. And that’s beautiful.
While landing at the airport lately, I saw the full moon parallel to my non-reclining last row seat. Eid was only a few days ago. Next to the huge Jet wing, there were tiny lights slowly mapping themselves into lines and circles, angles and squares of human settlements next to a vast expanse of darkness. This is the city of Mumbai next to the Arabian sea. This is unforgettable.
No matter which part of the city you are in, or how bad your day went, you know there is a sea you can go to, like an angry child running to her mother complaining about a bad day at school. When I saw Marine Drive in monsoon last year, I knew inside that I would love to be one of those seemingly crazy young people grabbing an ice-cream under an useless umbrella, dangling feet with the dangling rain, as huge waves splashed at them from time to time, breaking into giggles.