This is a foodie blog, so I should be writing about my foodie adventures. What I should be telling you about was how I made some pretty interesting Bong food like Dhokar Dalna and Muri Ghonto or about the Date and Walnut loaf. I should be telling you about Krishna Janmashtami and sharing some more childhood memories of festival sweets. Or may be I should exult about the fact that another famous piece of Bandra has moved to Powai. Out of the Blue has opened right in my backyard and I am dying to try it out soon! But I can’t write about any of this.
Can I tell you how I felt standing amidst the hundreds that had gathered to watch the dahi handi celebrations in the middle of bustling Hiranandani? As the teams made their pyramid to try and reach the handi hanging from a height of about 50ft in the middle of the street, I instinctively felt the spirit of Mumbai that is spoken about so reverently. A group of men attempt to risk their lives to take on a monumental task and are cheered on by hundreds. Even when they fail, they celebrate because at least they did their best and didn’t fall. They lived to try again. And after a year in this hallowed city, I felt like a part of it. As if perhaps this city would accept me too.
Yet, half an hour later, meeting up with friends in IIT I felt alone again. I was reminded of how lonely this city can be and how it is easier to be a part of a crowd. Because if you a part of a small group, you risk being talked to, you risk being asked the question , “How are you? What’s going on?” And often you are not prepared to answer. What is going on? Scarier still is having to ask the question back and listen to the answer. What if the other person actually has an answer? Are you prepared to hear it?
When I was eighteen, a family friend who was much older than me got married. She was a physics PhD student in India at the time and her husband was based in the US. For several reasons after almost six years of her PhD, she quit and moved to the US. I wondered why she didn’t just hang on and finish what she had started. Why quit? Then she changed her field and did an MS in computer science. She now works in the IT industry and has two boys.
When I was 24 and a PhD student I got married. After almost two years of a long distance marriage and five years into my PhD, I quit and moved to California. ————————————————————————-
When I was fifteen and my cousin got married right after completing her BA, I wondered why was she getting married and not studying further. A few years later when I met her again, she had a one year old and I told her she looked like a “mummy” as if it was something undesirable to be. She quietly told me, “But I am a mummy.”
Since then she has completed her B.Ed., had twins and now works in one of the most prestigious residential schools in the country.
Today I am a mummy. —————————————————————-
I don’t like not knowing the answer. I’d rather someone quickly tell me the answer than sit and think about it. I like to know the end halfway through a book or story and actually read the last few pages right then. I like to know where I am going and then I can enjoy the ride. It’s not enough to keep reading diligently or to keep on walking briskly. If I don’t keep reading or putting one foot ahead of the next, how will I ever get there?
I am obsessed with endings. I want to know the end to my story now and then I can start walking. Until then I feel crippled. I need to know my goal. So what do you do if you don’t have one? What do you do if you are not sure of your goals? How do you enjoy the ride while trying to find your destination?