I was just browsing through the various documents saved under the folder named “Blogs”. There is one that says, “Ode to 2008”, which has been left Ode less….. Along with it comes the realization that 2009 will be over in another three months and all that has transpired in these nine long months is that I have lost a kilogram or two. I still am employed with the same organization and am still in the state of fear inducing, paralyzing inertia that has enabled me to absolutely vegetate in front of the screen. 2009 has brought home the realization that this inertia is definitely not going to get me a promotion in 2010. But 2009 has also got with it the, “Do I really care?” syndrome, which sort of mollifies the fact that my vegetation is a total blasphemy on life itself! I am just four or five blogs older in 2009. I was single in 2008 and still am in 2009. I was beginning to wish to be alone in 2008 and I am alone in 2009. I think I am ridden of my obsession but it still comes back to me in sudden phases. My weakness has not yet become an addiction. Though I still cannot bid it Goodbye. He got married this year. Life for so many around me has taken a 360* turn.
An entire year. An entire year. An entire year……. One millionth of a miniscule part for space….but an entire lifetime for me. All I can come up with is a list of “Did nots”
Did not take FRM.
Did not take that stupid CAIIB.
Did not apply for MA.
Did not travel enough.
Did not write enough.
Did not love enough.
Did not find The Guy.
Did not work enough.
Did not even cry enough.
Did not figure out the Plan.
Back from Ahmedabad, last night, sitting in an auto rickshaw drenched to the skin and taking in huge gulps of the adulterated rain kissed air, I was happy to be back in Bombay. Stuck in traffic for what seemed like eons, I started to think of the numerous “What Ifs” 2009 had shown me, which I have been incompetent enough to give form to.
Jolting me from this reverie was a BMT bus that rushed past drenching me with muck. I screamed.
“Kya Hua Madam?” asked the rickshaw driver.
“Arree who Bus ki wajah se cheeta padh gaya mere pe.”
“Arre madam, Baarish hai toh Cheeta toh padega hi! Humko bhi toh poda! Aap aise chillaye, humko laga kuch ho gaya hai…….”
I think, this is what people have come to call the “Spirit of Bombay,” Plain complacence with everything around you. Quiet resignation to imperfection. Mass impotence to change things around you. A million people who share a communal state of constant melancholy that just accepts traffic jams, road blocks, open gutters, acres of ugly slums, destitution, filthy trains, overcrowded buses, muck and slush, air pollution, water scarcity, corrupt leaders, inept teachers, avaricious bureaucrats as permanent fixtures in their existential existence.
“Haan Ji. Baarish hai toh cheeta toh padega hi.”
See Bombay, after two of years of living with you, even my life has come to imbibe the “Spirit of Bombay”. I no longer live. I exist.