I know it’s been ages since I last blogged, and as usual, I missed it. Blogging is my vent; a therapeutic release that that helps me put things into perspective through my sharing and reflections. However, I realize that I have been silent for several weeks, and believe you me, I have some very good reasons for doing so.
First off, the sheer exhaustion that I deal with everyday from just the excruciatingly humid weather is enough to kill one’s spirit! My god, there has to be a limit to the levels of humidity that dominate the Mumbai skies. I officially take a minimum of 2 showers a day, most days 3. The heat is relentless and this is only the month of April. Rumor has it that May is going to be a furnace, decimating every living and non-living being that dares to be out in the sun.
I don’t think I can say enough about the extent of suffering that I undergo each and everyday. Because my house is getting renovated, the rental place I live in only has an air conditioner in the bedroom – the living room is a sauna for all means and purposes. Life really is funny – In San Francisco, I used to pay $20 to use a sauna at a spa, because it was so cold in SF, that you would really need to work hard to sweat it out during your day-to-day activities. In Mumbai, the sauna is available 24/7, whether you want it or not! When I wake up in the morning and get out of my air-conditioned bedroom, I get out fully knowing that I will be stepping into my very own sauna. Life sure is greener on the other side!
I was reading the weather forecast today: “28 degrees Celsius, feels like 34.” And yes, please do not forget to add the 279% humidity!!!!!
Second, the house renovations have also been taking a lot out of me. It’s been one roller coaster ride trying to work with the contractor, the architects, and the society members, whilst also trying to maintain one’s sanity and mental status quo. Doing anything in India, especially a big project, requires a certain level of patience, diplomacy, aggressiveness, and shrewdness, in order to get your job done. Oh, and did I mention patience???? Yes, living in Mumbai demands a heck of a lot of patience and forbearance…and, for someone who lacks patience in general, it is beginning to dawn on me, more and more, that Mumbai will either make me or break me. I don’t know what will become of me, but I know something will.
All this is still unreal to me, very unreal to me. I want to crawl out of my skin and into a hole in the ground and hide from all this change; take refuge from the earth where I will be invisible to the millions of people that fill the streets and alleys, the many pockets and crevices of Mumbai. It’s been 7.5 months since we landed here and I just cannot believe how time has passed me by. Talking of the millions of people in Mumbai, my aunt who is visiting from Goa, brought her maid along as well. This was the maid’s first trip to Mumbai, and she was so scared when she went out on the streets with my aunt to do some veggie shopping – she was horrified, overwhelmed and fearful of the millions of people that swarmed the streets of Mumbai. I found it rather amusing that she felt this way, but then when I think about it, it cannot be any more amusing than my first reactions to Mumbai when I landed on the balmy night of September 5th, 2011. Like the maid, I too was horrified, overwhelmed and fearful of the many things, places, peoples, and situations I was to encounter. At least the maid gets to go back to Goa….I am staying.