So story? I’ve been thinking for two days about a story I’ll write here, since I registered for the event. There’s nothing interesting I can write and shoot a series of photographs for it. It came to me just as I was about to give up. Why not a love story? The story of Me, of how I fell in love -with this city-Bombay. So people keep correcting me, “It’s Mumbai, not Bombay”, but, as cliché as it sounds, Bombay “feels”, Bombay feels more mine than Mumbai.
When I first came to this city, a year ago, for my college admissions, I was shocked at how fast everything was. People were always in a hurry, walking in the crowd as if on conveyer belts. Everything so hot around. Yes, that was my first visit to Bombay and I disliked it just then. Because I belong from a small town where everything is green and quiete, I couldn’t bring myself to live in crowd, sweat and bright lights. Like every other newbie in town, I too made up my mind to pack up and go back to my comfort zone.
I guess, beauty of this city is an acquired taste, one slowly starts to like the fast life and the little moments of laughter with the fifteen-minute-friends made in the local trains. Waking up to the sight of the mesmerising dawn of Marine Drive sure helped.
Took me time but I eventually learnt, every person in Bombay is a friend, people will show you around even if they don’t know you, tell you addresses, even walk with you to places; Strangers will eat with you, laugh with you, of course if they’re not pissed by the workload from office. Even the Bhaji-wali-Aunty will smile at you. The man who is struggling to manage his expenses will tell you what time it is and yes, will smile back at you for your Thank You.
Bombay is like that old friend who accepts you with all your beautiful flaws and teaches you the way of life.
They say life in Bombay is a struggle, it is not, it’s a new lesson every day, Bombay, slowly making me and countless others fall in love with it’s rhythm. I have now started to walk on its beats, to feel it’s rhythm, I’m loving dancing on it’s unpredictable ever-changing tune and I- sure as hell- don’t want to stop.
By Sonali Shelar
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Very well thought and written. Thank you for writing down my unconditional love in words for Bombay/Mumbai. I owe you.