Saturday, May 20, 2017

...and that's how I found love in Bombay.

From my very first tryst with Bombay, I'd felt an unfathomable pull towards it. We had a connect I couldn't describe, though I didn't yet harbour any liking for the city. In fact, the first time I came here in 2014, I had rather disliked Bombay. But I moved here when I got the opportunity, because I wanted to get away from where I'd always been and to take a chance on new things. Little did I know a strange kind of love awaited me here.

On 9th August 2016, I moved to the city with two big bags and a camera. The first thing I did was report to work and complete initial documentation. Then I took the local train to go see one of my closest friends, who for so many weeks had been looking forward to my arrival in the city. I was waiting for her at Khar Road station, and when she spotted me on the bridge, she ran into my arms at lightning speed. In that moment, I knew I'd come to the right place.

We shared endless gossip over an intimate dinner in a nondescript cafe in Khar. At night, we walked along unfamiliar streets, arms entangled, without a care in the world. I couldn't have asked for a warmer welcome in this strange place.

And then, the next day, when I thought things couldn't get much better, I discovered rain, the way Habu discovers fire in my favourite middle school English chapter. Standing under an umbrella on the sidewalk across Flora Fountain, it was like love at first sight, except it wasn't the first time I was experiencing rain, or indeed love.

Everything felt distinctly new. It was different from anything I'd experienced before. I did not even try to rationalise. I was swept away by the deluge before I could understand what I had chanced upon.

The next few weeks went by in a daze. I was on top of the world. I walked along the streets, ate at the most charming cafes in Colaba and Fort, and enjoyed my coffee while the rain drops poured outside. I felt free, content, and not alone for a change. I knew I'd been latched on to this city for good, for I'd finally found a home for my heart.

It has been over 9 months now, and I remain as much in love as I was when I first saw rain. Bombay is so picturesque and romantic in the monsoon, it's like a dream. Some of the most magical pictures I've taken in these 9 months are also of the city drenched in rain. I just can't wait for the first drops to fall this year, so I could pick up my camera once again.

This August also marks one year to the start of this unusual love affair. Now I don't get this excited usually, but this occasion's close to my heart and I would really want to make it large. But, until then, here's to love - and to new beginnings on stranger tides.


Do you love Bombay rains as much as I do? Got a love story to share? I'd love to feature it under a new series I'm starting on my page. Would love to hear from you! :)