Back and forth and back again

There is nothing you can really do to shake off the Monday Morning feeling. Not even the promise of a fairly easy week ahead. Not even the fact that the week ahead is just 3 days long, with yet another long weekend looming large. Not even the fact that you;ve just returned off the back of a three-day break. Three days filled with family and music. Ok maybe that should be, especially when you have had a three-day break with family.

But you know how it is. Its always hard to slip right back into the groove when you’re still reeling from the hangover of the weekend gone by. And what can I say of a weekend spent in Bombay, filled with the music that was once second nature, and now a mere luxury?

It was blissful. I can’t say the same for the husband, though. Knowing pretty much nothing about Indian music, and being square in the face of a family that lived and breathed music for three days straight, wasn’t easy. He was bored out of his skull. But he endured it all, and came away 1.5 books richer (since he spent all his time reading), and is now fast getting ahead of me on the must-read-a-lot-more promise of 2012.

Random thoughts that ensued:

1) Being in any city like Bombay, and suddenly being exposed to far more people than I normally am in my everyday life in Goa, invariably leaves me with a mixed bag of feelings. I’m torn between the exhilaration of being with familiar faces and coming home to a full house, and this growing feeling of being stifled around too many people all at once. It’s a weird place to be, and I find I am always straddling the two, and sometimes it leaves me uncomfortable. This trip, I’ve come back with many random thoughts.

2) Are people are in general getting stranger by the day, or am I growing less tolerant? Some very obvious displays of intrusive, brash, uncaring interactions have left me aghast. Have people been this way all along? And was I blissfully unaware? Or have I become unnecessarily sensitive to people’s quirks and idiosyncrasies? When did the whole baby-making thing become a point of communal discussion? What is it with people who you meet after months, yet don’t pause to think if they’re being inappropriate or intrusive with their questions? I had three different people asking me very openly and nonchalantly why I don’t have a baby yet. One even went to the extent of goading my anger, even as I suppressed it, by telling me not to follow in the footsteps of an aunt who has chosen not to have any children. Oh and in case you’re wondering, I’m 27 and have been married three whole years. I guess that’s enough reason for everyone to start hitting fast forward on my biological clock, thankyouverymuch.

3) How come some friendships can pick up exactly after where they left off? I met with PeeVee, after a gap of 3-4 years (I think. It feels like its been eons since we met, and I can’t even put a date on it anymore.) We met at her wedding last, amidst hurried smiles and quick conversation as people waiting to meet the couple piled on behind me. So that doesn’t count. Everything before that was sporadic email communication, seeing as how we were in different continents. So no, that doesn’t count either. But what was lovely was that we effortlessly slipped into giggle mode and had so much to chatter about. We were of course made to shut up given that we only ended up meeting at the concerts, which don’t really make for great places to catch up.

4) Is it just me, or are young children/teenagers getting more and more detached and removed from all the things you and I indulged in as teenagers? When did drinking/smoking/sneaking around  overtake the fun in pajama parties, gully cricket and the like? When did it make way for BlackBerry Messenger, clothes from Zara and branded shoes? The times, they sure are changing. Either that or I’m officially old.

5) Is it normal to run out of things to say, even to family? Even those with whom conversation was never a problem? I definitely have gone quiet on the make-PC-with-family front. It’s funny, but after the regular hi-how-are-you-hows-so-and0so-is-work-going-well pleasantries, I suddenly get tongue-tied. Aside form my immediate family, its like I have nothing to say to anyone. I don’t know what it is. I’m sure assorted uncles and aunties and grannies and grandpas thought I have become cold and snooty, because I found myself not knowing what to say on more than one occasion this holiday. I feel more and more withdrawn these days. Sometimes its good, sometimes not so much.

6) Being in Bombay always gives me a rush. The sheer energy is palpable and it makes me want to rush out and do things. Despite the smells, the crowds, the heat and grime, and despite my new-found dislike for big cities, I heart Bombay. I know that’s a dichotomy right there, but here’s what I think (and every trip to Bombay further strengthens this belief): Bombay is a city that works. A city with a purpose. Everything there — the maddening crowds, the unbelievable lack of time, the rush to be number 1 — its all there for a reason. Everybody, every little miniscule part of the giant machinery of the city is there for a reason, and each one works tirelessly to get to where they want to be. And that’s where I think the city gets its energy from. An energy I think is severely lacking in Bangalore/Delhi/Chennai/Hyderabad. I find Bangalore superficial. Delhi overly glitzy and with too many stark contrasts. Chennai is stuck in a time warp. And Hyderabad straddles the best of the urbanisation with a side that is fast dilapidating. I think I could live in Bombay. Survive the rat race there. Because the energy will keep me going.

———–

This was post is outdated. I started it on Monday, 23rd January 2012, right after I returned from Bombay, but I struggled to finish it right through the week. I came in thinking I had an easy week ahead, but little did I know how things were going to snowball. If you’ve read my hasty update, you’ll know how some of the things in this post didn’t go as per plan. Given how crazy the week turned out to be I just didn’t find the right thread, the mindspace and the energy to finish this. Even though I felt like I had so much to say. This balancing work and play thing gets too hectic for my little self every now and then. And this time I caved. More on that in another post coming up.

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One Reply to “Back and forth and back again”

  1. Catching up after a long time! Thanks for the honorable mention on your blog :P The feeling of instant giggle-based connection after so many years is entirely mutual :) Here’s to more giggle sessions, Haathi! And you know what, I completely agree with you about Bombay. Watching people go about their life there, their ability to focus on their goals and to go after what they want (or need to do to survive) irrespective of the dust, dirt, heat and chaos that surrounds them inspires and energizes me! Life there seems almost like tight-rope walking — you just have no option but to be there and do that, and do that really well. And I love Mumbai not because of my familiarity with it – I’ve only visited twice/thrice in the last 3 years, so I don’t even have that kind of long association that you must have with it. So, there is indeed something special about that place :)

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