I arrived in Bombay during the monsoon in May 2009. Mentally I was kicking and cursing (at least the first part like a baby!).I hated the weather and was more than shocked by the rents. However the day I ran my first loop of Shivaji Park, I was in love. And I have raved about Bombay before, even before I started living there.
I have always been a Bangalorean at heart. I have lived in Trichy, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Lucknow, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Madurai, Jalgaon, Rayagada and now Mountain View. I have also spent enough days in Vishakhapatnam, Warangal, Kolkata, Dhanbad, Asansol, etc to have an impression of what it would be live there. However, whenever I have missed 'home', it has been Bangalore that I have thought of. My ecosystem - running, quizzing, bookshops, parks are all in Bangalore and I grew up with most of them, except perhaps running. I still love walking down MG Road with a packet of popcorn in my hand with nothing particular on my mind and repeating the exercise when the popcorn has run out. I love walking down Gandhi Bazaar too in the morning when the flowers have just arrived and smelling fresh chrysathemum and jasmine flowers.
However today, I was overwhelmed by a sensation of homesickness - you know when you want to go thru the sights and smells of something you love - that feeling. And the sights and smells that came to mind were not from Bangalore. This is unfamiliar territory for me. I am almost embarassed to admit it. It is like I was married and was caught blushing by my wife when I saw an ex-girlfriend*. I was thinking of taking those old FIAT taxis to office & back, eating my chat at Shivaji Park, kothambir wadi in Mahim from Aaswad, my run up Pedder Road on Sundays, the chai at Tea Centre at Sunday morning breakfast, just sitting on Marine Drive, etc. It is a rush of memories and I am hoping it will pass. I have a feeling that this is an 'Inception' style memory implant by Arun & Yashwant (friends and fellow quizzer) who triggered the thought by bringing it up in a Facebook post.
But I am somewhat surprised it didn't happen sooner. It has taken 10 weeks since I got here for me to remember what I am missing. Of course I will be chastened the moment I get back since I will be going back into the heart of the monsoon :)
Here, go ahead and hum this earworm and you will know how I am feeling...
* I am not married, but I shall claim to know the feeling. As someone said you don't need to touch the flame to know it burns ;)