A friend of mine commented on my bitching about life in Mumbai, saying that he has yet to see me not complain about living in Mumbai. It made me pause for a bit and I realized that 99.9% of the time, I am complaining about life in Mumbai and how it is driving me to the point of certifiable insanity. And, quite honestly, who wouldn’t? Let me illustrate: it’s 9:30 pm, on a weekday, and waaaay past Diwali, and people are still firing away their crackers as if today were their last day on earth. It’s pretty noisy in my neighborhood during the day anyhow, and when I look forward to the evening’s quiet, I jump every time someone decides they want to fire away! As a result, I have been sneezing and coughing severely, a reaction to the air pollution from the multiple toxins in the firecrackers. Now what do you say to that?
I guess what Mumbaikers have that I still do not have is immunity. The Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines “immunity” as “the quality or state of being immune”. “Immune” is further described as “marked by protection” or “not susceptible or responsive”. I posses neither! For now, I am susceptible to the the excruciating madness and chaos that surrounds me and only when I have reached full cycle, when I have gone through every climatic season and have been touched by the many faces and names of Mumbai, then, and only then, will I be rewarded that immunity which will make me love this city and make me want to call it home. But, until then, I will let myself be beaten and trodden upon because it is through pain and discomfort that we grow and appreciate life; it is only through struggle and discomfort that a caterpillar transforms into a beautiful butterfly.