|| Act I ||
I recently happened to take a flight from Delhi to Bombay. Shared a very interesting conversation with a lovely 43 year old gentlemen, who didn’t’ shy away from talking about anything. It felt so liberating to sit next to someone who actually was ready to have a healthy debate/discussion rather than listen to crying babies. I think we may have spoken too much for a morning flight, putting the rest of the passengers to sleep while simultaneously awakening the cabin crew. Right before touching base, on my way to the lavatory, I even got mistaken by the cabin crew as one of their cabin crew members(Not wearing anything close to their uniforms by the way) Are we really that non-cooperative as a society?
Ideally I would have loved to record each and every word coming out of this gentlemen’s mouth, because he had so so much knowledge to share, that I’m sure, like all parents from his generation, proudly telling their children, what could have been. Regret? Remorse? Or just simple parenting? So the parents that wouldn’t shut up, do really like talking to the girl that doesn’t want to shut up either. He shared worldly stories, very similar to my fathers voice(he’s always in my head), re-assuring me that I’m doing the right thing. Realizing what took this man 43 years of corporate torture, to finally reach a point of self realization that money may not be everything. I say may, because you do need it at times, to survive in this world. If it were that easy, honestly, all of us would have just followed our passions. But is takes great strength to pick yourself up, time after time, when live throws fire-balls at you, and keep on going.
|| Act II ||
This co-passenger, who was perfectly comfortable in letting the world know his name, and since I did take personal permission, Mr. Shamsher Gorawar was my time traveller. I’ve met a few over the years. They all seem to fascinate me. My imagination is sometimes just enough to picture a place, far away, in an untouched part of the world. I sometimes don’t feel the need to physically go to that place either. But like I always keep saying. This is just my perspective. My observations. I do at times envy people who have and can travel, for a split second maybe, but listening to them enjoy a place on earth just bring back that joy of listening to story-tellers.
There are so many songs with the title Time Traveller. My absolute favourite, is the one I’m about to quote below. It’s by an Indian artist, a very close friend of mine made me listen to this a few years ago. You can find it on Apple music. The entire EP is simply beautiful. I do have other favourites from the same album, but, this is just right.
When did it change, when was it over?
Do you know the time and date.A Dog Without A Bone
The above song, Time traveller, also reminds me of my favourite show in the world. I don’t think I have the strength to watch it again though. But there are the some episodes that keep attracting me back. I can watch it whenever I want though right? Oh the show, ya I forgot to mention that, BBC’s Dr. Who. My best-friend(You may remember him from my previous post ‘All my boys’) , his girl-friend and I have had this debate so so many times. Who’s your favourite doctor? We all have our reasons and answers. But the real question still is, who’s our favourite character. I know theirs, I’m not going to tell you that, just watch the show instead.
|| Act III ||
Let’s come back to my original thought though, the flight was from Delhi to Bombay. Delhi & Bombay;Delhi v/s Bombay; a conflict in itself really. But since I’ve lived in both cities for a decent period of time, I feel alright about sharing by observations on both.
Let’s start with Delhi. My home town, battle ground, native place, always in my head. We’ve all heard things about this city right? Don’t we all have an image about my city?
My misunderstood city. If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen a series of posts about the same. Some selected works are below.
Delhi; Yes, we have space, yes we have roads, so naturally we have more vehicles. But what most fail to see, is our education system. The state board, co-ed, actively encouraging sports, for both genders. So yes, we don’t shy away from very comfortably hanging out with the opposite gender. Freedom of choice in what you eat, drink & smoke. Judgment free you ask? Well is the city to blame for that? Or is the education being provided back home? That’s the real question.
Moving on to Bombay, like I physically did (Refer previous posts). Yes, you have the ocean, sea breeze, you have my friends. But it sort of stops for me right there. You claim to have forced communal living, a so called sense of freedom. Again I ask, is it judgement free though? You might feel worldly living in Bombay for a while, just for a while, but there are times when your minds become as narrow as your roads, as filthy as your streets.
So then why do I feel a need to keep coming back to Bombay you ask? Pace yourself, we’ll get there.
|| Act IV ||
Let’s talk about another misunderstood city first. My current habitat. No I will not call it Gurugram. Yes I will always be a South Delhi girl. I specify South Delhi for a reason. But I might be revealing too much too fast.
Gurgaon or Gurugram, named after Guru Dhronacharya from the lovely tale ‘Mahabarata’ (Refer previous post ‘ Passion v/s Love for more on that). As a state board child, we were taught two mythology books in our so called native language ‘Hindi’. Yes, like food Bombay has ruined that for me too. I’m a purist at heart really. The books? For those of you who are slightly lost, ‘The Ramayana’ & ‘The Mahabharata’. The former was what to do in life, and the later was basically what not to do.
Gurgaon has, in it’s own way, applied both in town & urban planning. From my perceptive, it’s a city trying to correct it’s mistakes. It’s really trying. There is nothing that Delhi & Bombay have that Gurgaon doesn’t, anymore. Yes, this includes women’s safety, 24 x 7 F & B outlets and all the freedom in the world you can think of. We’ve even shifted the nice music of both these cities for ourselves.
In my mind, Gurgaon is the ‘Rani of Jhansi’.
As a practicing architect in this experimental city, I can take you on a brief journey of Haryana from my eyes.
For the rest, you can follow me on Instagram, or if you are a traveller yourself, don’t shy away from visiting us sometime.
|| Act V ||
Over the years I’ve been asked many a times to chose my favourite between not just Delhi & Bombay, but also Gurgaon. “Where would you like to live”, they say. “But Delhi has better food”, they say. “But Gurgaon has it all”, like I myself am saying above. I’ve had many debates/arguments with people from various states, mind-sets & even strangers from other countries I happen to run into sometimes. I’ve written pages after pages, feeling every emotion possible(much like the movie Disney’s ‘Inside Out‘ ).
A rant on what both these cities have truley done to me.
Delhi is not sorry, for being gifted space.
Bombay is not sorry, for being overly populated.
Delhi is not sorry, for preserving it’s green space.
Bombay is not sorry, for destroying it’s ecosystem.
Delhi is not sorry, for being loud & gaudi.
Bombay is not sorry, for being religiously loud & gaudi.
Delhi is not sorry, for respecting the food of all cultures.
Bombay is not sorry, for creative food release.
Delhi is not sorry, for inviting music of all genres.
Bombay is not sorry, for trying to drown it’s neighbour’s music taste.
Delhi is not sorry, for using diwali roads as an excuse for air & sound pollution.
Bombay is not sorry, for constantly smelling like a garbage dump.
Delhi is not sorry, for individually celebrating it’s festivals.
Bombay is not sorry for, for collectively sharing space for all its festivals.
Delhi is not sorry, for suppressing its women.
Bombay is not sorry, for raping its motherland.
Delhi is not sorry, for using chivalry to make up for chauvinism.
Bombay is not sorry, for being the city that doesn’t let it’s citizens sleep– Arushi Jain
So the girl who wouldn’t shut up came to the city that never sleeps. And what happened to her next? Follow me to find out, or you could read all my blog posts again if you’d like to figure it out.
The choice, and I can’t stress on this enough, is always yours.