Missing Mumbai

Posted August 15th, 2005 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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Rainy days and occasional floods are common for people in Bombay . In fact most people look forward to them, despite the potholes, late trains and the occasional flooding . When I heard about the rains in Mumbai, last week I was not very concerned. Mumbaites are not new to floods, there is always one every year, when drainage systems, the government and the rains combine together to force people to stay in offices for the night, or walk a few miles in muddy water.

But then slowly as reports trickled in I realized that this was no ordinary water logging. This was so much more. And that’s when I really missed Mumbai. I miss Bombay on most days. I miss Mumbai more when it rains. But I miss Bombay the most when Bombay is faced with some sort of disaster. It seems odd to miss being in a midst of a natural disaster and miss the fact that you could not experience it. But that’s what I feel ( so did Vidya, when I talked to her). I know that people have suffered like never before, I know many who have walked for an entire day to reach home. I know people who have lost a lot of personal belongings, I know people were worried about friends and family. I know people had one hell of a terrible experience. I know its stupid to wish that I was in the midst of this.

But call me crazy, I missed being surrounded by dirty smelly waist deep water. I missed being part of the group of people walking home in waist deep water, holding hands with those around you, so that if one of you steps in a pothole the others can pull him/her back, I missed the stink of dirty water, the sight of how water swirled with filth and scum at certain spots. I missed being part of the crowded trains being surrounded by the musty damp smell of other half-soaked passengers.

And now as Bombay limps back to life and heart warming stories of Mumbaikar spirit surfaces, I sit here and miss the fact that I am not in Mumbai and I am not part of this part part of my home.

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