Bombay, Goodbye

It seems, I never really left you on the 1st of February 2010. My heart was still in the smell of the swirling sea- the waves that splash across Marine Drive-when it rains. My heart was still in the blue cheese bagels by the sea, the sev puri man by the building gate, the school by the beach. Yes, I can remember everything clearly still- the sand in our shoes after march past practice on the beach. The smell of mid-morning milk in the school basement. The dhansak-rice from the school canteen, that I will never find again. The warm chocolate croissants at 4pm, the sweaty bus ride after. I can remember the rain as it fell- the day of my first job interview. I can remember the December I tried to say good bye to all things Bombay meant to me- Prithvi Cafe and hot Sulemani tea, a small garden in Oshiwara, a greenhouse in Goregaon East, the room with big windows overlooking a rare patch of green.

And, still when I checked into Gurgaon- an intimidating guest house on a barren street- I knew it wasn’t Goodbye. There was always an air-ticket- ten days of swimming, and coffee shops, and a bustling Lokhandwala street. And, there was always a one way ticket home. For although, you know, deep down, life’s changing- you hope it remains the same.

But now, here I am- at the brink of something beautiful, and fearful and overwhelming- and I am sobbing. For, I no longer know when I will return. When I will wake up to the smell of Bombay again- the sound of a rumbling train- the wails of a busy street. I no longer know when I will walk leisurely the Belmont compound, pick my cycle from the Garage, walk down to the local tailor, spend a day at the beauty parlour, rent a DVD from the corner store. I no longer know when I will belong in Bombay again.

Nothing’s changed. And, yet everything has. My heart it belongs in Bombay still- but life-it’s snatching me away…

I no longer know…but Bombay, this still isn’t Goodbye.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Bombay, Goodbye

  1. Wonderful blog about the true spirit of Bombay. Thanks a lot for your effort. Being in the business of pure joy, it’s a moment of pride for us. Try our delightful platter of chocolates & get sloshed into happiness. Check us out- http://www.lotuschocolate.com/

  2. This post made my heart melt. Not Goodbye indeed.
    Love.

  3. Gayatri,
    I was in Bombay for only a week, but I feel with you for what you’ve left behind. Your post brought back luscious memories and more. Hoping that your new home opens up wonderful possibilities for you too!
    Karyn

  4. Lavanya (@dramaticca)

    Where are you headed? I bid goodbye to my Bombay dreams a year ago.

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