Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mumbai Mumbles: Two sizes smaller

(This is a sequel to the earlier episode - This too shall pass - where his struggle to cope with the Mumbai environs, well, continues)

There is no logic to changes in life sometimes.  It is like that cataclysm that hits without forewarning and one may never realize it.   Some changes can be seen coming - a result of past actions, more predictable and well inevitable. 

How the chinese proverb in
the rest room proved true!
One of these days, he read a Chinese proverb, well, in a restroom, of all places - ' If you have to see the past, look at your present situation.  If you have to see the future, look at your present actions'.   The message almost drowned him in a wave of reality - as he stepped out.  

He saw it coming, like the Fukushima twin disaster. He had moved to Mumbai with lot of hopes and dreams.  And the first six months, he had struggled with himself, his environs - to find his feet, and in that short term measure he had failed - both in career and repute.

His wife and kids had adapted to
the great city better than him
His family was now more settled than he was.  His kids were adopting to the language and the cosmopolitan life of this great city.   His wife now had Sindhi, Malayali, Gujarathi friends and neighbours.  She was a regular in the kitty parties in the apartment complex,  could speak halting Hindi with the doodhwala, grocery stores etc.,   In fact, she was enjoying it.  She had given up her job to move to Mumbai, and suddenly she had lot of time to spend for herself and the kid.  Anyways, if she needed a familiar Tamil voice,  the slew of channels from the LCD TV would blare into the silent hall, for company.

When he returned home, he saw them happy.  That was a great solace - he loved them than ever before, and would like to see them happy.   Then there was his car - the new sedan that he always wanted to have.  That also was his financial nemesis of the temporary kind.  But for him, it was one love he would never give up.  

Mumbai was expensive.   The distances were longer, there were toll fees to pay.  Only Vada-pav was the low cost option.   Everything else was burning his shallow pocket.  

The Dindoshi skyline - his
clairvoyant companion
would disappear
Almost every night, he would wake up suddenly, sweating.  Like a taser shock, an odd thought would have struck his cerebrum.  He would keep the bedroom light off and look at the distance lights of the Dindoshi skyline - mind full of myriad thoughts around how each problem was life consuming and what he needed to do immediately.  This wee-hour wake-up call was his beacon, his clairvoyance.   He found his solutions in this dark and silent hour.

And one of those days - his mind mulled over this - should he give up and go back?  But, this was the city of Kishore Kumar.  Shah Rukh Khan.   Amitabh Bachchan.  The Ambanis.  Sachin-the-only-Tendulkar.  The place where art only grows, but glows.   The New York of India.   

Secondly, his family has just completed the transplantation to this city successfully.  He could not afford the switch back.

No, going back was not an option.   He would cut down his costs.   He would stay put.   He would do few things, better prepared and planned.   Hope would be his new ally. 

The lights of Dindoshi would disappear from his bedroom window soon.  He decided to move to the outskirts - to save money on rent, to start with.   From now on, he would have to be still more vigilant and frugal.  He would watch his wallet. 

At work, now he had to wear
shoes - two sizes smaller
At his office, meanwhile - grounds had shifted.   The ripples of changes in the upper echelons washed his shore.   His job description changed.   It was not appealing to his appetite and ego - a reflection of his past six months, in some sense.  But as he realized, it was his time to lay low, lick his wounds and recoup.   He would swallow his pride, but fight on.  May be, Providence would help him cut his losses?

Because, his present actions would determine his future, as the Chinese proverb exhorted, would they not?  And what he would wear now on his feet would be shoes, two sizes smaller.   But, he still had the shoes, hadn't he?

-The One

( Pics Courtesy The One, Internet)


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