Notes from Bandra - 1

Subject: Bandra seems alien to me. 

So its little over month since I moved to Bandra. Although so far I havent had the time to explore the area, I still go to a certain place everyday to go sleep. And when I wake up, I still have to walk a bit to get my rickshaw. Or train. Or whatever.

It is at these walks that I have discovered a bit of Bandra that I know of. The bit that makes me equipped enough to claim that Bandra is alien to me. The rational part of my brain tells me that it is very much a part of Mumbai, which in turn is a part of India. And India is home. Always will be. Unless something drastic happens. It also tells me that unlike all other places where I have lived, Bandra has the "most" foreign heritage (Portuguese and all that). So it is natural to be disconnected with things. But Bandra is as much a part of India as I am!

However, the emotional part of my brain revolts at the thought of Bandra as a part of me. Or me as a part of Bandra. I know I am not cool enough to be here. I love old world charms but I dont have what it takes to live in old, ill-maintained, cramped buildings. I love small alleys and nooks but I cant breathe in the filth that has been gathering for years. I have nothing against people who have pets at home but I cant get barked upon by a street dog that is fed by the locals. For some reason, I am not free here. I am restrained. And I love my freedom more than anything else and I want to guard it with as much gusto as I can. Bandra does not give me the freedom. Freedom of mind ladies and gents.

Thing is, while I love surprises and exploring and all that, I want things to be familiar at the place I live. If wanted alien-ity around me, I'd rather live out of a suitcase and adopt a nomadic lifestyle - which I will once I have the money. Damn contradictions!

Wait. What is alien? Something that you cant relate to. Something that is unexpected. Something that is not you. Something that you stop and take note.

I do all of the above as I walk the winding lanes in Bandra. While people speak the language I speak, they dress almost like I do, they almost eat what I eat but it seems like a foreign land to me. The roads are broken and yet fancy cars that are a far cry from Marutis zoom on them. There are hawkers and temples (and churches and mosques), both pimping their wares louder than the other. There are small boutique fancy restaurants competing with the Mumbai sandwich "chefs" on a stand for the palette. There are Indians who look like foreigners and foreigners trying to blend in. There is so much happening all around you that you are lost like a kid in wonderland. The way a traveler is lost in a foreign land. Alien land.

Oh Bandra, you are not for me!

When in doubt, you turn to the philosopher and guide Rabbi. On Bandra, he says, "Tu avin Bandra, Taenu sab pata chalega" - Come to Bandra, you'll know it all. May be these 9 months in Bandra will be spent on the journey within? May be its part of the evolution? Am I finally growing up? Or I am merely depressed?

Dont know. Dont care. Over to the next post.

Saurabh Garg,
22 Jan 2016

P.S.: Oh, by the way, as I write this, its is probably the best weather in Mumbai. Its windy and its pretty cold and it keeps the Mumbaikars indoors. So after the office hours, the roads are less crowded and less maddening. Last night I was at the Bandstand and I loved the cold winds from the ocean breaking on my face. The place that is teeming with people was deserted. And I loved sitting there and writing.

P.P.S.: No, I am not cribbing. I am merely observing things from a rational and emotional view point.

P.P.P.S.: As I write this post, it seems to me that I have lost my writing mojo. Words aren't flowing that easy. Its no long a pleasure to write. I havent seen my fingers dance on the keyboard lately. I have a tough time getting in the flow. I dont know who / what to blame. Lack of time? Lack of reading? Lack of motivation? Lack of what else? Whatever. I have to re-initiate work on #book2.

P.P.P.P.S.: Guess the need to belong is gnawing at me? Context? Read yesterday's post

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