“Where In Bombay Do You Stay?”
errr, i live (not stay) in south bombay, thanks for asking.
it might be patently obvious even to those who ask the right questions for the first 5 minutes of a conversation. fine. i’ll admit it myself: i talk the talk, i live in a skyscraper, i went to “those schools”, i went abroad to get an undergraduate degree, i strive to speak impeccable english (and most often succeed in doing so), and i truly consider going anywhere beyond parel an anxiety-fraught schlep that in many cases is not worth the travel time.
but being “from somewhere” is really not a crime, people. especially not south bombay. and don’t make me feel guilty or naive for it. it’s the life i know, the life i am comfortable with, and you cannot tell me that the “true bombay” is in the burbs, and that i should make the trek out more often, because
1) who the heck are you to define the “real” city? every window in a metropolis has a story, so don’t presume to tell me that another story is more valid than mine, or another area more “real”
2) have you SEEN the roads in andheri? and the traffic? why would i subject myself to this kind of torture on a more regular basis?!
3) infiniti mall is really. not. that. impressive. landmark books in infiniti mall, yes, resoundingly so, but infiniti mall itself? errr…. no.
4) even though bombay may be a safer city than most others for women, i still don’t feel comfortable travelling on trains after dark.
5) the buses have cockroaches (i speak specifically of the A-2 A/C bus, which although it is a great service, is not one i could use every day), and dude, seijo and the soul dish has cockroaches, too.
6) the dust i’m exposed to when i travel to the burbs ruins my skin. no, i’m not saying all of south bombay breathes clean air and drinks ambrosia out of pearl cups, but you have to admit — it’s simple science — that being out on the road for longer exposes you to traffic fumes for a longer period. (and no, the A/C bus is not my sole method of transportation, so it is a matter of concern to me.)
7) who’s to say that with quality spots like the bombay gymkhana, salt water grill, indigo, moshe’s, barista, bade miyan, ming palace, regal, basilico, colaba causeway, the tasting room, trattoria, nature’s basket, gaylord, theobroma, cafe churchill, inox, pizzeria uno (or whatever they’re calling it these days), mondy’s, the ghetto, new yorker and cream center, bachelor’s, prive, polly esther’s, noodle bar, atria mall, and the new china garden (dim sum, yum yum!) to choose from, i really *need* to go exploring?
i’m quite happy where i am, thank you — and be it said, in public now, that i don’t feel the need to apologize either for my origins or for my choices.