Friday, 27 April 2012


Statutory warning: This is a very random post.

Nostalgia is happening. Very random memories and people from my past are dropping on me like bombs – I still don’t know whether they are good bombs or bad. I suddenly picture us, “The Fantastic Four”, cooking at Jodhpur Park, sneaking up on each other stealing uncooked ingredients. Honestly, we barely cooked, Shyamali mashi did most of the work – but today, when I cook in my own kitchen, that was still the most fun culinary experience I’ve had.

Two ex-roommates from years ago have suddenly dropped by my life again, like dropping in on a neighbour, claiming to miss me and all the fun we’ve had. Much like my relationships, my roommate history has also been turbulent. Well, when you are a gypsy living in a city for seven years, that’s bound to happen, right? I have lived with a grand total of eleven people (including roommates and the then boyfriend) between Mumbai and Chennai in the last seven years. And I’m moving for the seventh time soon. No mean feat.

With each, no doubt, there were more than some merry times. Community living, as we called it. Also, living on your own in the city frees you from many restrictions as well. When I pass by the Bandra highways, or Carter Road and Bandstand, I truly feel for all the couples who have to show their intimacy in such public spots. I mean, if both people in the relationship live with family, what do you do? And don’t frown at the concept of a kiss, sex or general intimacy in a relationship – please lead the elephant out of the room. Hello, we are the land of Kamasutra! I’ve been lucky that in all my years of boy-intimacy, I’ve never had to resort to public displays of private affection. Unless, of course, it was deliberate.

But I wonder why the sea brings out of us this ridiculous sappiness. When I first came to Bombay, I was thrilled at the thought of having access to the sea regularly. Which is ironic, given that I’m scared of water and not a swimmer. Still. When I lived in the cubby pigeonhole of a PG in Marine Lines, I walked down Marine Drive almost every day, all the way till Nariman Point. It didn’t do much for my weight, but it was my escape, my purging sessions. Sitting there facing the ocean, I could often feel my boy-troubles, family-troubles, homesickness and friend-troubles disappearing into the waves. Knowing that the Middle East was just across this sea also excited me. I’m not sure why, it just did.

When I took my then-boyfriend-now-best-friend to Marine Drive to experience what I had, and maybe share a romantic moment, all he could say was, “It smells here.” So much for that.

A few years later, when I used to work in Worli, my friend and I would often drive down to Worli sea face after work, and sit and vent to each other. Work, love et al. Unfortunately, love, as you can guess, has always been a problem area. 

More recently, I remember all too clearly splashing in the waves at Kelwa, a beach destination ahead of Virar, and in Pondicherry. Just him and me. Both scared of water, both can’t swim, both giggling and taking photographs like children. Purge.

There’s a lot more nostalgia where the last one came from. Unfortunately, no amount of alcohol can erase memories you make, that you want to keep and that you never want to forget. Memories of your first real, committed, long-term relationship. Well, at least for the women, I know, it can’t be done. Men deal differently with pain. I get it. But nostalgia is human – it can catch you anywhere, anytime, when you least expect it, whether you’re a boy or a girl pining in and for love. Sometimes even in the acronym of a bank that has decided to up its visibility. You just never know.

P.s. – Given the amount I talk, I hate cold wars. They suck. 

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