The Perfect Life
This post is written as part of Wednesday Prompt 2014 #19 hosted on writetribe.com and given by Vidya of (www.vidyasuri.com). The prompt is about two pictures I treasure. No prize for guessing! I have chosen Marine Drive where I was spending my lonely evenings, the time I made my Mumbai my home. The first picture was clicked by me and the second one depicting the crazy monsoon at Gateway of India belongs to Amitabh Bachchan who shared the monsoon bash on his profile. For once, old memories were re-kindled as I took the down memory lane, remembering the emotions of the yore, exactly as it unfurled. Hope you enjoy reading!
It was the summer of 2007. My first tryst with the Mumbai Monsoon. Lonely evenings spent at Marine Drive as the ear plug hooked to my ears, lolling by the sea and sitting on the parapet, the new and expensive Nokia camera phone slinking inside my jeans pocket. I ordered a chai and a cigarette from the mobile tea seller as he gave me a snippet of life in Dharavi slums, the lakhs buried under the rocks. Listening to RJ Kalindi on Radio Mirchi’s selection of old songs aired for Purani Jeans. I tossed a coin in the tiny hands of the two street urchins. They called me Seth and smiled innocently to me. We became friends and the day would brighten up when I see their vivacious faces, their zest for life. They were not just five-year-old beggars but my friends. We had an amazing chemistry and when they saw me, they leaped with joy, mumbling some songs like the chirpy birds.
At times, I climbed the parapet to feel the violent stormy wind and Monsoon rain slapping me on the face. I was living life King Size, admiring the sky-crapers and dreaming to dine at ITC when I make the Moolah. Where have those days gone? Images flashed back and it feels as if it happened yesterday. The celebration of life, blue-and-yellow colored iconic Amby taxis and BEST Buses zooming past me, the night walkers taking long steps. I walked back to the hostel, just over the road as I crossed the maddening traffic. It was past midnight and the gates would close. Just in time to enter my heavenly abode as I opened my window wide to get a view of the sea from far. On an early morning. I would spot Anil Ambani, sweating profusely, followed by the Black Cats, guns in arms. I would admire the man who calls the shots and decide the future of million of Indians. I dreamed his life and how tough it is to be one of the Ambanis.
The Gateway of India stood tall as I pushed my back to the wall, droplets of water falling on my face and feeling a rush of the waves breaking the walls behind my back. I stood, admiring the Taj. No! 9/11 didn’t happen as yet. I took long, brisk walks to enjoy every moment of the priceless monsoon, the season we gear up to. Who cares about the Tee or Jeans who is soaked in water, pure heavenly bliss. The shoes plodding into water pool as I exude, ‘aye’. It was the season to die for and often I wondered, ‘What if the heavy rains carried me in its belly? I don’t know how to swim and wouldn’t survive’ It sent me in a tizzy imagining to be consumed by the fury of nature.
A call from a friend or texting my love, telling her excitedly that I am standing in the rain, to get drenched. ‘It’s blessing’, I tell her. She giggled, thinking her lover has gone mad. I walked away from the Gateway,whizzled past Bade Miyan on foot and plonked inside Baghdadi. I ordered Beef Fry and the huge Naan. I settled my bill, all 30 bucks. I braved the stormy weather, humming, ‘aaj mausam bada beimaan hai, aaj mausam bada shaitan hai.’ I stop at the Pan shop, asking for ten classic mild, Wills Cigarettes and next stop, the wine shop as I slunk the quarter Imperial Blue Whisky and the Soda in the bag. Which better way to quench my thirst and welcome the Monsoon inside my hostel room? I view Marine Drive from the hostel window, cast a glance at our neighbors, the girls from Telang Hostel.
It was a life I celebrated King size in 2007 and 08. A flawless existence as I roamed the streets of Mumbai like a vagabond in gay abandon. How I wish those times would come back! The perfect life! An exact picture painted and running wild in my imagination.
Soothing the nerves as the rain droplets flirted with my skin.
The first shower as I stood like a statue at Marine Drive,
the place is divine where I craft dreams in my head and soul.
How I wish I could make it in the city of immense possibilities!
A perfect life as the violent wind pushes the body beyond gravity,
hair drenched in the water as I feel like doing the rain dance.
Who cares bout’ the people?
They think I am mad and let them cast aspersion on my character,
May be just a dream.
I made memories.
How I wish those carefree days would be back.