To Bombay, this Monsoon
My ankles feel bare this June, because I am no longer dragging my heavy feet through the wading waters of Malad. My heart feels a tad empty and devoid of colour, away from the crashing waves of Marine Drive.
This monsoon, dear Bombay, I am far away. I miss the incessant pitter-patter of rain against my unforgiving window pane, invariably waking me up at any odd hour. I miss my coffee and I miss my old life. I miss aamchi Mumbai.
Dear Bombay, you have witnessed me go through your monsoons and grow through your monsoons. Do you remember that time we walked back home together, with tears streaming down my face? I had left my heart at Kala Ghoda and it still beats in Jahangir Art Gallery, trying to decipher what the artist didn’t say.
Do you remember the tempestuous wind at Bandra Fort? I stood there alone, listening to music, dreaming of a different life. You put your arms around me and made me see the wonder in the present moment. I have loved you ever since.
Do you remember when we took a long walk from Churchgate Station to the Gateway Of India. Every time I joked about a lavish dinner at the Taj, you chuckled in response and it rained a little harder. I remember how you’d trick the skies into pouring every time I forgot my umbrella. You were very good with the element of surprise.
They call you unstoppable, the city that never sleeps. They call you the city of dreams. Do you remember the numerous times you taught me to thunder loudly, speak my mind, write my poetry and dare to dream? Do you remember the times my heart swelled with pride, just like your beautiful, generous skies?
Dear Bombay, you are not a place. You are a feeling. You are an experience. You are a fairy tale.
Yes, I know how the aunties in the train pushed and shoved me, no matter the crowd, no matter the mad rain hitting our faces at the door. We perched precariously at the edge, tasting the rain and feeling the wind. Taking it all in- aamchi Mumbai. I remember the mess my muddy shoes made but I still crave your feel on my skin. I can smell you sometimes, like people can smell their long lost lovers. After all, why can’t it still be love, the way I love you?