I have been visiting Bombay for 4 years continuously, somehow it keeps calling me back year after year for some experience or another. But this is not a travel story but is more like a story. Real or fictional depends on your perception.
I don’t know why I was so much attracted to this city, even before I visited this city in my senses for the first time I was in love with this city. Started with my fascination of becoming a filmmaker and observing how every director has his own perception to show this city by their own view point. After watching a movie I started to feel that I have always belonged to this city. The way this movie made Mumbai a character and let it took part at the story continued made me more familiar to this city than where I was living at that moment. I kept waiting for the day I could see this place with my own eyes as if the movie was not directed by Anurag Basu but an enchantress who made by believe that Bombay is the most amazing city in the world. How can it be possible to fall in love with a city I’ve never met, may be because like in love I forgot all logic for this city.
Bombay, the name itself makes me want to feel like catching the next train or bus no matter wherever I am and return here. Every time I have visited this city it has been so amazing, I have lived every part of it. A lot of times I go into those movies and books whose characters are set up in this city and experience it that way. There is a unique brightness in evenings of Mumbai that calms down the atmosphere making you feel calm no matter how tired you are.
Sun was going down and I met this friend were we had decided to. She was typically late and I was on time as usual. After a cup of coffee I thought it would be cool to visit the beach that was just a little walk away. She was not too fond of Bombay as I remember her once telling me about how dirty beaches of Bombay were but despite that I wanted to see that beach. After walking for some time on sand I asked her if she has ever walked barefoot into the water. I asked her to remove her shoes that she thought was a bad idea as if some sea animal will bite her foot but then later agreed. She stood with me in the toxic water flowing below us, I felt as if whole Mumbai was under my feet. We walked and then returned to the dry area to put our shoes on. She slowly removed sand from below her feet and between toes to start wearing socks slowly as if she was taking more time for some purpose. I looked at her, wanted to lean in remove hair falling on her face and then kiss her but don’t know what stopped me from doing this. May be this was the right thing to do as we lived miles away from each other. It was only 10 PM and we had entire night ahead of us but then I think Mumbai air was affecting my sense of judgment in many ways. We got up started walking again along the waters only to realize that at some point of time she had locked her fingers into mine continuing to walk into the night.