I was born and brought up in Bombay. I have been away from Mumbai for almost 10 years now. I have come back for holidays and extended breaks, 7 months being the maximum that I have stayed here.
I didn’t spend my youth here. I don’t know this city like an 18 year old would or a 22 year old or a 28 year old does. I haven’t had movie getaways, or late nights with college friends, work parties, shopping with girl friends, long lunches. I don’t know the lanes, I don’t know the latest hang outs, I don’t know what the pulse of the city is. At least what it is perceived to be. I can’t speak the local language either.
Slowly and steadily I have been making an effort. I am getting good at it too. I have been regularly adding phone numbers on my phone. Some I am confident will remain there.
All this effort knowing too well in a few months time I will make a move again. I will lose some friends. I will lose all familiarity. I will have to start afresh. I have done that so many times the last few years I seem to be getting good at it. A part of me enjoys that. A part of me wants to settle down.
Being a stranger in your own city isn’t fun. Yet I feel at home in Mumbai. This is home. A place that has an ever changing energy, vibe, facade even. Yet the soul remains the same. I know no matter how far I go or Mumbai does when we meet, it feel like coming back home again.