Blame it on the 'new job-new city' euphoria, but I've been struggling to put the figurative pen to paper for over a week. That's not unusual in itself since I've taken many a haitus. What's unique to this time is the inability to encapsulate what I'm seeing and feeling and put it down into some sort of coherent, snappy format. After what seems like ages, a rambling post is coming up here. Don't bother to stay and peruse further if you don't feel like it.
Call me vindictive, but there were noticeable stirrings of joy when I heard the boss plead on the phone with some random person for their time... like I'd done not too long ago. For all the cliched karma, even a week at work has made it rather obvious that it'd have taken a miracle for this lot to reach any decision on my employment within the boundaries of my expectations. Work abounds and unlike what seems like half the somambulistic world, it does not involve mindless repetitive bollocks. The job is mine, but not just yet - I'm on probation, a term most of you may be familiar with. If not, consider yourself fortunate.
While the hunt for a place of my own goes on, I'm shacking up with a friend in Bandra, which is midtown in more ways than one. I think I'm getting dangerously comfortable in the melting pot of Bombay where extremes are the order of the day. Just today, coming back home on a jam-packed bus, I saw a little baby boy giggling toothily as he played with his mother. While his antics eased the exhaustion I was feeling, any pleasant thought I may have had died when I was struck by the kid's resemblance to another mite I saw this morning... looking forlorn and tearful, standing in the muck of a newly dug road. And yet, the poignancy that should have framed the boy from the morning seems to be fading into some sort of shrugged acceptance. Perhaps this city, and in particular Bandra, is changing me... in ways I'm not comfortable with.
Travelling on the footboard of a bus packed to the gills is an experience on it's own. Granted, hanging on for dear life while wishing the gent in close proximity understood concepts like deoderant or perhaps bathing, is not going on anyone's bucket list. Still, that, and watching from the overbridge as 4 trains enter Bandra station at the same time heading in 3 different directions (yea, 3 - Uptown Western, Downtown Western and Harbour line) provides a momentary spark of insight as to what keeps this city going. It isn't any nonsensical, done-to-death, 'spirit' I'll tell you. No one here is indifferent. In the greater scheme of things, caught in the whirlpool of making the right bus, train, office time etcetera, the possibility of life being extinguished like a candle flame comes way down on the list of phenomena to look out for. Or brood about.
Coming to grips with Bombay, it's nature and way of life is not an instantaneous event. There are always parts of the myriad one flinches at. Parts one wonders at. Scenes that disgust and moments that soothe. Yesterday I caught myself absently doing what I've seen a lot of Mumbaikars do - reaching out to make sure the wallet is still in the pocket.
So far, so good.
Song for the moment: Catch my disease - Ben Lee