Am back (for those who care ;-)), but still in transition!
The last time I lived in Bombay it was 2005. Seven years later I find myself back in the city, just a lane away from where I last lived, starting a new Life – that’s twice in a space of 3 years…sigh. But, c’est la vie!
The city feels different – not as friendly as before, the people – more on edge and aggressive, the traffic – chaotic as always and the rickshaw drivers disappointingly rude 😦 I don’t remember them being that before. Can’t wait until we finally manage to hire a driver – it’s a necessity rather than a luxury. Or perhaps it’s just that seven years being a long time, the City’s tell-tale signs of wear & tear, are now more apparent to my critical gaze. It could also be that the last time I was here; I was in my thirties, free of children and raring to go. Life was all about working and travelling and having a good time. A far cry from who I am today, above all, a mother concerned about her child’s safety and education, although travel and fun are always on my menu 🙂 Still with everything that Bombay struggles with on a daily basis, I suppose the fact that she survives is in itself a victory of sorts. I hope to survive too – emerge victorious and phoenix-like – conquering the chaos and craziness – finding my own sanctuary of sorts. Not too much to ask for, surely?!
But on to pleasant things and thankfully there are those too 😉 The fact that I finally have the freedom to run my own household and more importantly kitchen, is a feeling I would not trade for anything J I’ve always enjoyed setting up house and although this is the first time I’ve done it with a 4-yr-old in tow, it’s still been exciting! Ishaan has been quite the peach – as well behaved and obedient as a child going through a huge change can be expected to be. He’s changed house and school with an ease that makes me so very proud and yet inexplicably sad, perhaps coz it means he’s really growing up and I didn’t think it would be so quickly!! Children really do bring a whole new perspective on Life – they make the hardest things seem bearable and yet manage ever so often to complicate the simple stuff 😛 Walking, talking paradoxes 😉
The 15 days we’ve spent in Bombay so far have been largely about setting up house and getting Ishaan accustomed to his new school. The latter had me worried, not the least because he was moving from a small, protective environment into the big bad world of a ‘Proper School’, by which I mean a large school with older children, something he’s never experienced in Goa. And yet, after the initial week of crying – he’s taken to it like a fish to water 🙂 He’s learning too and at a speed that never fails to take me by surprise! He’s showing a serious interest in writing (almost overnight!) and finally much to my relief and unbridled joy – in reading 🙂 Hallelujah!!! His own transition from a toddler to a pre-schooler has been thankfully smooth so far!
And what of mine from ‘side-line observer’ back to ‘woman of the house’? Happily – it’s been smooth too and expectedly effortless 😉 This whole move has made me realize once again that most of the stress and fear of change is in our minds. It’s all a matter of perspective and attitude! That’s not to say that’s it’s been a cakewalk, not in the least. Just that by concentrating on the positives I’ve learnt to deal with the considerable negatives. My worst fears were of leaving my Goan circle of friends behind – a group of mothers that have provided me with succour and support and endless amounts of fun!! Don’t get me wrong – I have friends in Bombay – good solid ones that I can count on and love to pieces and am assured loads of fun with, but that doesn’t lessen the pain of leaving behind the girls that have pretty much made life over the last year lovable. I miss them and I confess that the thought of meeting up with them during holidays will see me visit Goa much more than I probably would otherwise!
There’s one thing that’s made me very happy in our new home – the fact that because we’re on the 5th floor, and surrounded by the leafy tops of several coconut palms and other trees, there are birds on call outside the window 24/7 🙂 True, mostly crows and pigeons (not my faves although I’m learning to love them), but there are robins too and bulbuls and one evening a whole flock of parrots flew as if possessed, in screeching symphony before settling down to roost. It was awesome 🙂 And then one day I spotted a copper-breasted barbet that I had never spotted in Goa! Small miracles – what would Life be without?
We’re back in Goa now for the holidays and we’ve slipped back into the slow, lazy routine that so irked me before. This time though it’s a welcome relief from the daily grind in Bombay and I’m grateful J I’ve been out with friends and am having a ball, but I am looking forward to Bombay with much less trepidation than before, if not with explicit eagerness 😉 How quickly we adapt if only we allow ourselves the freedom!
So, here’s to Transitions – with their good, their bad and their ugly. May they be ever educational, stress-free and welcome. And for the bad bits – remember there’s always a Mojito waiting at my place 🙂
P.S. I never thought this piece would be quite so upbeat when I first began to write but am so glad that it turned out the way it did!! Unexpectedly pleasurable 🙂 Probably coz I’m posting this a good month after the actual move 😉