Thursday, March 03, 2011

On looking back....

It's a year now since I've moved out of Mumbai and how time flies!! As I look back on the year gone by I can't help but think about the many changes it has brought in my life. I look back and find myself nostalgic about the many things I miss about being away from my hometown.

  • Needless to say I miss my family. (Skype's a boon and I can see them when I want to. Sometimes though, I wish they were just a drive away)
  • I miss my budgies. (They live with my parents now and although I get to see them when I visit Mumbai I miss their constant, mindless chirping. I miss watching them tend to their fledglings and I miss watching the baby birds grow.)
  • I miss the stray dogs on the Mumbai streets and I miss feeding them. I actually miss them barking into the night; sometimes it was comforting to know that they patrolled the streets and would raise an alarm at the slightest suspicion.At the same time, here I love watching people walk their dogs. And I love how well behaved their pets are on the road and in the park, in restaurants and in trains & buses. I'm amused by the little chihuahuas being carried around in purses as much by the huge and gentle newfoundland's friendly demeanor.  
  • I miss Kelly, my baby turtle. (I had to give her away and it hurts that I'll probably never see her again or even know how she's doing.) 
  • I miss my friends and sometimes I feel like I'm losing touch with them. (Sometimes it's the distance and sometimes it's just the pace of life. Sometimes we're just too lazy to drop a line or send a text message.My trips back home seem too short to meet everybody...some friends understand and others don't. I wish there weren't misunderstandings and that good friends wouldn't drift apart.)
  • I miss the Mumbai monsoon and walking in the rain (it rains all the time here but it's too cold to walk in the rain). Nothing beats the good 'ol vada pav and rastewali cutting chai in the rain. And, I miss the spicy Manchow soup and the garam, roasted butta (corn). I miss the mochi who repairs my umbrella each year when the monsoon wind puts it to the rest. (We have a few broken umbrellas at home now and they lie in the junk section of the basement as there's no one here to fix them.) I miss the puddles of water ( I know you're going to say it's dirty!) and the school children sailing little paper boats in it. I miss the day off work in the middle of the week because the city turns into one big river on a few days every monsoon.
  • I miss the warm weather and the summer clothes. It rains incessantly in The Netherlands. It is perpetually cold, windy and the sunshine is a fortnightly affair.Summer seems all of ten days long.  
  •  I miss work! I'm learning the local language and hope to find a job again someday soon. Never thought I'd miss the client meetings, the travel, the assignments, the deadlines, painful feet after 9 long hours of standing in a classroom training, last minute stationery requests and printing........Well...looks like I do. 
  • I miss the entertaining strangers' conversations that you hear by chance as you travel in local trains and buses or when you sit at a restaurant or walk through a busy market. Here, most conversations around me seem like Greek and Latin....errrr....well..Dutch. A fews words here and there make sense but nothing engages me. I'd rather walk quietly with my own thoughts and with either my camera or my music for company. 
I sound like I'm complaining and I probably am. But nostalgia clears away like clouds on a sunny day. I still do wish that friends would keep in touch and that the Dutch would hire an English speaking professional(who is trying hard to learn their language). And for all the fuss about the weather and how I miss the deadlines at work, I still love my life here. 


quaintkal said...

aawwwww..sending a LOT of hugs your way, laxmi :) i have never been away from my beloved Bombay for more than a week max. and i can only sit and imagine when people get nostalgic and talk about the place/people they spent major part on their lives in/with :(
you do have a lovely life there and am sure most of your friends do understand your predicament and want to keep in touch but maybe do not find the time or motivation due to their hectic lifestyles :) and i do envy you for all the lovely places you guys get to visit and the yummm food & beer you get to taste! ;D
hope you learn dutch soon and start working soonest :)
much love,

Vociferix Loquacix said...

absolutely agree 101%, i often tl my dear ones back hm,hw lucky they r 2 b bk hm. Mumbai is nt just a city,its an addiction,a way of life,so its nt uncanny tht we end up even misng th horidd thngs abt it. I m sending a silent brainwave(hope its interceptd by a dutch profsnl) to hire an eng profnl aka laxmi! :)

durga said...

hey lucky, first and foremost sending you lots of sunshine from Panama. Read your blog and I totally agree with all the points except one last. You know because of Murthy. we have to travel to diff countries. I love living here temporarily, but when I say HOME it always was is and will be mumbai. I would not trade in for anything. Poeple say mumbai is a mad place but, there is method to the madness over there. And most of all, in my personal opinion(no offense) it gives a sense of belonging to everyone who comes to stay there for a day or forever. You will always hear them refer to mumbai as "our mumbai". what more can I say.
our nostalgic pangs. Keep writing more on behalf of all us mumbaikars. A big hug to you.

It was nice reading about y

Laxmi Salgaonkar said...

Thank you Kalyani, Jayanti and Durga. :)

Durga, Jayanti....I'm sure you feel the same way being away from home.

Laxmi Salgaonkar said...

there are some things about Mumbai that I'll never miss.....the overflowing garbage bins, the clogged city sewers, the traffic jams and the noise, the corruption, the crazy work hours, the pollution.........but there are a lot of other endearing things that make Mumbai by home....those are the things that I miss...

Anil P said...

The bhutta, yes. And overhearing conversations in Mumbai locals, aha, that's a world in itself.

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