These days I have Baali to sleep beside me. He is warm, silent, accomodating and undemanding. His fur however could do with a scented bath. From the nook of your arm to Baali's dust induced smell..... i have proceeded, progressed. The flat is homely, the bed is small and the bedspread is washed every two weeks. Ambu Bai vents out her frustration on the bell and wakes me up every morning. Bathed, scented, creamed and sunglassed, I leave for work.
In the train-Mumbai Central, Grant Road, Charni Road and Marine Lines pass before I reach Churchgate. There, among the multitudes, I walk head held high, shoulders erect, stomach sucked in and a practiced smile on my face. I see tired eyes and eager smiles, hunched shoulders and hastening heels, mobile phones and silent stares, aimless loitering and purposeful strides. How many of them are hurting inside I wonder. For how many millions is the hysteria just bubbling beneath the surface? I have established camaraderie with the routine and the mundane, you know. They dont irk me anymore.
If it werent for them I would be celebrating my depression every morning with addiction and escapism. When there is work to attend, trains to catch, reports to be prepared, meals to be had, indolence and lassitude to be embraced, bills to be paid, maids to be worried about, gyms to be visited, facials to be had, temple Gods to be appeased, the idiot box to be satiated; unhappiness and unfulfilment do not knock with the same persistence.
Iam happy, I have the boring to fall back on. Yes it is my support system.
And then, there are the good times..... when I ran with thousands from the city, cheered by thousands in the city, when we just talk till wee hours in the morning, when S makes dal and i make the curry and we have it watching melodrama unfold in the idiot box, when friends come over and decibels and spirits both run high, when I get to watch dreams woven in technicolor every week, when I saw that I lost 800 gms in one week, when choclate can be had guilt free, when i saw the sun rise in Daman, when we got lost in Goa with stray dogs and empty fields for company, when i cuddled baby Shaurya in my arms, when I saw sun light breaking on the Nanda Devi, when I dipped in the gorgeously green river Kosi, when I bought the amazingly hot saree...... when I know I can pen down my mania.....
I am jubiliant in bits and pieces, dispairing in shards. This city.... has jolted me so upright, i can never slouch anymore!!!The city gets on to you... like no other does.... takes u to the precarious and brings u back saying, "Its ok kid... lifes not that bad!".
You Know, my necklines have got deeper, my collar bones more taught, my curves trimmer, my nights longer, my addictions wilder, my cheekbones more pronounced but my eyes..... drier.
I dont have the nook of your arm to sleep on.......but sleep still comes, a trifle later than usual but nevertheless it is blissfully peaceful.
Strange as it may sound, I like going to bed with Baali by my side and Psychedallic trance blasting my eardrums!!