Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bombay ki hawa..2

Standing at the edge of the shore at Nariman Point and looking straight into the Arabian Sea , I was trying to juggle the multiple emotions that raced through my mind. Insecurity jostled for space inside an independent mind. A nervous energy shook me , probably it was a combination of both fear and excitement. It had hardly been a month since I landed in Bombay from Madras and the Arabian Sea was slowly taking over from the Marina Beach.

My life until then could be described by 3 Cs - comfortable, conservative and cloistered. I fought to break the shackles of that world and landed in Bombay as a 21 year old eager like everyone else to charter my own destiny. Bombay may have become Mumbai, but the city then and now remains the city of dreams, where an invisible energy seizes you and you dance along with the frenzied spirit of the city

However the Bombay where I landed was the Bombay of Mani Ratnam. The movie had released a while ago and although tensions abated after the 93-94 bomb blasts, a sense of distrust remained and violence was waiting to happen. I had just sensed it in my own hostel , when R , a soft spoken girl from Pune screamed at her Hindu roomate for dating a Muslim boy. "Do not go to Scandal Point alone with him..you know what happenned last month na.." The film screening in the class yesterday had been Anand Patwardhan's Father,Son and Holy War.

Later in the evening, munching moongfili and looking at the sun setting over the Arabian sea, I wondered if this is the city romanticised by the films . I had met S, the boy R was referring to. We had all gone for movies together. We had even been for dinner and had gone over to meet his friends. He had even confided in me that he had just broken up with his girlfriend. " You South Indians have no clue what happenned and you have been here just a month and you are already trusting strangers..are you mad ?" R had yelled as I tried to support her roommate.

True, I thought today as I pen this memoir. We had no clue of violence and hatred. There were no TV screens with 100 channels breaking the same news nor was there internet and facebook or twitter throwing opinions and photographs at us. The newspapers and magazines were our only source of information and sensationalism was then a bad word . Ironically it was in this world of no mobiles , I landed wanting to become a journalism and study media. Little did I realize that Bombay the city itself was to become my school, where I learnt more than just media studies.

6 comments:

Anjuli said...

I like it when poeple write about Bombay, am I in love with it? I don't know but I liked the post :)

and its 'seeng' not moongfili :P

Chandrika Shubham said...

It is surprising that Mumbai still faces such problems.

angel said...

strange but very true...

Aaarti said...

:) As i said earlier, Bby sure seems to have had quite an impact on u as a person and on ur life!!

lookingwithin said...

Hey I like ur writings about Bombay life...having born and grown up here...I discover a few new things about the city in ur writings..

n yes u write about thse nostalgic times when Mumbai was Bombay...so much has changed...although I am just 27 I feel like an old man ...reminiscing about past...

Lakshmi said...

Anjuli - We use to refer it as seeng dhana and locally as moongfulli..i love bbay ..thanks for liking the post

Chandrika - this is a nostalgic piece.But yes such issues still crop up once in a while

angel - yes

aarti - bbay in many ways made me what i am today

lookingwithin -Nostalgia can do crazy thgs to a person