It is true that where you come from does not indicate where you are going, but some places are such that they will always leave an indelible mark on your mind no matter where you go from there. Bombay, to me, is one such place.
My stay there was only for 8 months; however, I feel some of Bombay still alive within me always. This feeling of association is very different from the association that I feel for other cities where I have been.
Friends, who have never been to Bombay, tell me that the reason for this lies in my being one of the “Snobs of SOBO”. I don’t refute them, may be they are true. But it is not only the elegant buildings, busy offices, wide sea, British architecture and romantic marine drive that I feel very connected to. I feel connected to so many not so famous or not so important things that I experienced in Bombay. I feel very connected to Local trains because it served as a refuge when as a salesman I had to be out of the sight of my boss in order to save myself from his scolding. I feel connected to the hope that this city supports that if you are willing to put an effort, all will work out, eventually if not immediately. To the never say die spirit that is so central to its life. To the fact that every moment you live there the entire city is so much with you that you hardly feel alone there.
Despite the notorious claim that people don’t care about anyone else in that city, and it’s a literal dog eat dog world, some of my best friends are from this city and I do know it a little more than popular claims for this city. And since I have my own version, side, story, connection and memory of what Bombay is. This part is always going to stay alive, within me.
It is true that Bombay will always be special for me as it was a place where I earned my first salary, saw some amazing places and was won over by its awe just as any youth would. But beyond this short lived love of the little known, my emotions for this city grew stronger with time. I could see the contribution those moments made to shaping me as an individual as well as a professional.
That’s my Bombay within, what’s yours?
—- Dhruv Joshi