Tuesday, April 14, 2009


And it is fun. Remembering old days. Old lives. Old people. Old restaurants. Old hotels. Old routes. Old places. Old friends. Old enemies. Old things I used to say. Old things I used to do.

Like the Bun-Maska at Kyani's at 8.00 AM after a sunday morning basketball practice session at the college court. Like Dabeli on King Circle outside the VIP Showroom that used to be Koolars & Co. Like Chai and Singh-dana on Marine Drive at 6.45 PM with the sun setting, and the couples snuggling. Like Onion Uthapams at 4.00 PM at Indian Gymkhana Canteen. Like Samosas from Guru Kripa as a treat for winning inter-school basketball games. Like 3 course Udipi meals from Ramdev Hotel as a treat for winning inter-school semifinals. Like losing my water bottle every time I got a new water bottle. Like losing my umbrella every time it rained.

All these things and a million more things remind us. Of what we were. Of the days we so obliviously lived, without appreciating those small events that remind us of a life that has gone. We like to reach for that old cobwebbed dusty trunk of memories on that topmost shelf of our brain, where the most treasured thoughts lie untouched, year after year.

Year after Year. As we grow up, and we romance women, and we chase dreams (much like dogs chase cars - we don't know what to do with the dream when we catch them). As we try to emulate those who inspire us, and as we pillory those who denigrate us.

And these thoughts and dreams, and memories are like a warm blanket. They allow us to snuggle, and shrug off the wet cold real world and feel comfortable and welcome. They make us feel relevant. They make us feel like we have a chance at life. The life. As we experience life, and as we stare at unaffordable houses, and as we gaze at BMW and Mercedes convertibles zoom past us on roads that we hope some day will be big enough to accomodate our small dreams and even smaller cars.

But like all good things, these memories must fade. Because that old school you once studied at at the corner of that small lane that led away from the milk booth you bought milk from, everyday for over 15 years, is now a gleaming, glowing, tall, white and gold edifice of gujarati jain affluence, that is at the end of that large road that made sure the milk booth was demolished, and that the milkman was given his mandatory 225 sq feet in some squalid corner of Mankhurd where he doesn't have a hope in hell of restarting his life. Because that English teacher who made you prefect, is not 6 feet under ground. Because the double decker bus where you sat at the front of the bus on the 1st floor and stuck your tongue out at the wind coming your way, is now an exhibit at the Nehru Science Center, and is now a tourist postcard for Mumbai.

Because the world has lost it's innocence. And nothing is now straight and it's definitely not narrow. Because nobody has an equal shot. And work is tough, and relationships are tough. And finding happiness is tough. And realising your dreams is tough. And finding those simple times is tough. There is not enough Nostalgia to go around.


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