Yes, it has been 3 months since we landed in Mumbai on September 5th, 2011. It’s been 3, real challenging months in this city and I am still trying to make some sense of how this all happened? How did we decide to come to India? Why did we decide to make a life in a city that, in many ways, is so alien to us? How is it that 3 whole months have flown by and I still feel like I am in a daze?
The first week of being in the city, I met up with a friend who I hadn’t seen in 10 years. I studied with her in my first year in SF, for all of one semester. She was more an acquaintance than a friend. But when I saw her in Mumbai, I felt more close to her than any one else I knew in Mumbai, because of the SF connection. Anyhow, this friend, “S”, had previously lived in Australia and Fiji, then in SF, and then moved to Mumbai about 9 years ago. I thought it was remarkable that she could do this and is still alive. In our conversation, she mentioned that in her first year in Mumbai, she “was in a daze” and “was like a zombie”, clueless about what was going on. At that moment I thought to myself, ‘Gees, this one’s a nut job. In a daze? Felt like a zombie? What was she on?’ Just last week I sent S an email with the following message: “We are having a pretty tough time adjusting to Mumbai and i still cant believe we are here to stay!! Gosh! I remember you saying that you were in a daze for the first year….i think i now know what you mean by that.”
Yes, I am in haze, a daze, a confusion of sorts, wondering how to cope with the challenges of living in this madness that I was once in love with. When I lived here for 4 years in the late 90’s, I fell in love with Mumbai. I did not think anything could compare to the ferociousness and excitement of living in this city…..not until I lived in San Francisco.
I am still having a very tough time adjusting to the noise….non-stop noise, whether necessary or unnecessary. I am also having a very tough time with the weather. Believe you me, we are over half way into the first week of December, and it’s still bloody hot and sweaty!!! I think what’s making it even worse is the fact that this is the Holiday season in the USA: San Francisco glistening with Christmas decorations all over, street lights in pretty colors, festive parties and events, Christmas music booming from every shop and home, lots and lots of good wine and fine company…the works. This is the time where you could really feel the Christmas spirit in the air. I am so missing that feeling now, and my friends as well.
I just pulled up an image of the Macy’s Christmas Tree at Union Square in San Francisco. We would go to Union Square every year and pay homage to the stunning tree.
I had a tough time even looking at this image because a flood of memories of my 10 years in San Francisco gushed forth, like a spring of water gushing from the smallest crack in the rock. And, as I stare at it and recall all those wonderful years in paradise, I am thankful for the many moments of joy and sadness, of pleasure and pain, of hope and despair, I enjoyed in SF. I am hoping the next 3 months will be kinder to me, as I continue to try to ease into the complexities and nuances of making a life in Mumbai.