Sunday, August 06, 2006

Moving pains of another kind

I am depressed. Having lived in Bombay, in the same colony for all my life until I came to the US, I obviously associate with that area and the city the most. I knew the galli-galli ka paan waala, sabzi-waala, PCO waala, xerox-shop waala- they were all my friends, and even enquired about me now and then after I came here. ("Toh Unkal, baby kaisi hai abhi? shaadi ho gaya kya, uska?") :) Four years after I came here, my parents moved out of that colony and went to live in a far-flung suburb in Bombay. It was weird enough having phone conversations with them and not being able to imagine the new place, the new locality, the new neighbours my mom mentioned. And not getting any more news about my old adda. :( Then I made a trip last year and saw all of that. The "great" self-sufficient little residential complex they were living in- replete with a college, a hospital, and everything in one place. Ok, great, I thought. It's a comfy life, and I'm happy for my parents. But this is not that. Soon enough, I found my way around the new place, and at the end of the day, it was still the familiar feeling, not much changes between one suburb and another in Bombay. I could also make a trip down the memory lane, go and spend a few days in my old adda, thanks to some friends who were still there. I came back to the US, now happy that I could imagine the cute little kid next-door who loved coming and playing with my mom, and relate to them when they talked about watching a movie in this big multiplex theatre that was walking distance from their house..nice nice.

Now they've moved out of Bombay, into this city called Hyderabad! NOW no offence to all the hydies on here, am sure it's a great city... (or whatever..;) ) But this is most definitely not that. My dad raves about how the weather is not as humid as it was in Bombay, how much he enjoys his walks better. How the vegetables are a lot less expensive, and even tastier. Of course, I'm happy for him. My mom enjoys the closeness of relatives around, but has her share of domestic woes- water shortage, bais not tiko-fying, and the more laid-back attitude in general, as against bombay where everyone was always on the run. I hear her out, and reflect on how much a bigger adjustment it's turning out to be for her..

But I'm left with nothing. No memories, no ability to relate at all! To think that I'll be going to hyderabad the next time i go to india, is just depressing! Yes, i can still visit bombay, be with my friends there, but it's just not the same. As it is, I'm always torn between spending time with my parents and friends when I go home...and that's just one part of the problem. The bigger realisation - that I don't have a home in bombay- is most upsetting. I won't be taking the trains, chatting up auto-drivers about their opinions on shiv-sena, arguing with bus-conducters, refreshing my marathi..catching up with old friends, dukaan-waalas, all that and more! I will not be able to frequent all my favourite hang-out joints. There won't be the sea! I will have to speak hyderabadi hindi (eugh!) instead of apna rapchik bambaiyya hindi. :( :( :(.The last straw was when my mom sent me some clothes recently, and I was ..let's just say surprised at how my mom's taste had changed in clothes. I usually have complete faith in her picks.I asked her "yeh kya bheja.." trying to contain my shock, and she said "arre, yahaan pe sab aise hi kapde miltein hain". I was crushed! :( (Now, now,i'm sure with enough time, my mom will discover some better places to shop at..but for now, that was another thing to upset me).

One of the good things that has come out of blogging- is I've made my first friend in Hyderabad. :) so I know I have atleast one friend in the strange city. That's very comforting. My parents have found some good things about the city, and I am of course, happy for them. But at the end of the day, Hyderabad is not Bombay! and that makes me selfishly sad. :(


gauravonomics said...


Have been reading your blog regularly of late. I can imagine your feeling at loss about byour parents moving out of Mumbai. No other city in india is the same.

BTW, can you turn your feed on to full?

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

hi gaurav..-onomics! (phew!)
i just changed the site feed. let me know if it works??

i wish my parents never had to move! :(

neihal said...

bombay rocks..I know. But hyd. is not bad either. Not as difficult as it was 10 yrs back. so chill.

neihal said...

ok ok ...the memories part...and not being able to relate to your parents place...that is difficult.

qsg said...

I felt a bit like this when my parents renovated our house, and my room disappeared! Well, it moved to another location, but it was very upsetting for me... even now when I imagine myself at home, it's in the same room, although it doesn't exist...
Change is the only constant! :)

Perspective Inc. said...

Hyd is not too bad.. it'l grow on you..give it a chance!
But of course..its not Bombay!!

Nirwa said...

Arre.. "Hyder"abad se "Ahmed"abad kar le.. :D apun dono yahan pe apni gang chalu karenge!

Mere yahan pe bahaut pehchaan wale hai... :D :D :D

Anyway, coming back to your post, I have never lived anywhere other than this house, where I was born in. We're living here since 1983.. and honestly, I cannot imagine myself living in different house, sleeping in room which does not have my glow in dark stars, butterflies and skeleton, or logging on from other computer and blogging/chatting/surfing..

Or.. sitting on the swing other than the one in our porch and talking about everything under the sky (and sometimes, beyond) with Dad.. while he does his futile attempts to tame me.. Or for that matter, using a different bathroom! :P :P :P

But your post did make me feel that if I were to ever move from this house (for studies or anything) I will miss the stupid watchman of hte society who opens the gate for me and grins at me because I wear a seat belt, the random dog who gets bursts of happiness whenever he sees me and runs behind me.. and all that!

Gosh, tell me to STOP!! :P Such a long comment!! Fit to be a post itself!!

Hyderabad is a nice place, or so my friends tell! :-)

greensatya said...

Time for some reality check :

Human being is the only animal that can adjust and live anywhere. So stop worrying on that account.

For everyone a time comes, when 'home' changes to 'parent's place'. Your parents have changed their city and not you!!! Your city will be where you would be living. Does not matter if your parents live in Mumbai or Hyderabad.

This is the reality of life.

Janefield said...

yeah, bombay is bombay! i can never even think of it as mumbai, its that unique. i've lived in both bbay and hydie among quite a few other places, moving and starting over was like a daily routine for me! atleast your folks are happy, so what if you get strange clothes? the least you can do is wear them, take pics of you in them and send them to hydie. and also to me. i sure am starved for entertainment lately ;)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

hyd. is not bad either. Not as difficult as it was 10 yrs back.
so i hear. dekhna padega.....

yeah. it's an almost misplaced feeling of being wronged....true that, change is the only constant.

yeah...:( I guess for now i'm just unwilling to accept.

sitting on the swing other than the one in our porch and talking about everything under the sky (and sometimes, beyond) with Dad.
siiigh. yes, those are the kinds of memories i took for granted. :( although we never had a swing, or a porch for that matter. ;)

reality is very much in place, thanks for checking. ;) I had realised long ago that I would never return to Bombay, and made my peace with that. My parents being there was my only "link" to the city, and now that it's gone, it makes me sad.

I agree about the definition of "home" being relative. Let's say I was lamenting the fact that my "parents' home" has moved out of my favourite city. Not helping.

Besides, it's sunday. Let me crib. :-)

Yes, my folks are trying to make the best of it. I cannot deal with the weird clothes man! my wardrobe yearns for Linking road now...
hahahha send you a pic? jaisa mera koi kam band baj raha hai aajkal?

mp said...

On a side note,its (ahem)..'suburb'.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

thanks man! I KNEW something was wrong, couldn't put a finger on it. :)
fixed it! whew! now i can sleep in peace. :p

PSV said...

times have changed, india in which we grew up, doesnt exist anymore.
I cant imagine how things will be 10 years down the line...
memories ikatthi kar lao kyonki kuch aur toh bachchega nahi!

its me said...

hmmm.. hey Hyderabad is a GOOOOD place.. :) dont worry.. you would just love it...
i dont know about the comparison though.. maybe each place has its own charm..

and you got yourself one more friend from Hyderabad :) meeeeeee :)

Tachyoson said...

hi there

in answer to your query,
"Greek ταχύς takhús, meaning "swift"" + English "son" meaning male offspring.

the joining itself is a meaningless portmanteau. the existence of 'tachyon' has never been proven.

life's all about change is it not ? i've been in the same place in mumbai for the past two decades and i still cant get used to a lot of the old places going kaput.

whats worse is the loss of people... to life work and just plain uncaring.... i hope no matter how many PLACES you change , the people you have come to associate with those places never do :)

keep visiting. i know i will...

Rebellion said...

Does that mean that you won't be visiting Bombay now???

No matter where you go, once you get used to the Bambaiyya life, its difficult to adapt yourself to any other place!!! I think life out here is a little too fast compared to other cities!!

Anyways, glad your parents are happy :) Did you get thru them finally?

Take care,

neihal said...

hey I would like to bring to your notice, "the least you can do is wear them, take pics of you in them and send them to hydie. and also to me. i sure am starved for entertainment lately ;)"
now bringing smile on someone face is service to please do it.
@TCO: *whispering* will you please send me a copy of the pic.

The Smiling Girl said...

Lajjo, u saved ur neck by mentioning the things u did in the last para.. otherwise I would've come to Ipanema to strangle you.. :)

Arey yaar.. I understand completely what you said.. totally.
But then may be ur Mom just didnt know where to shop properly..:)
I know that Mumbaiyya Hindi is good, but once u know the beauty of Hydie Hindi, u will love it too..

I know whatever I say, Bombay is home for you... but dont worry, in all the short time you will get to stay in Hydie(considering you will be busy with friends and relatives), I promise to show u places here which you will love too.. :)

Janefield said...

SG....the beauty of hydie hindi????? PALTAO sounds beautiful to you????

hey bhagwaaan kaise kaise paagal aate hain aajkal :P

neihal....wot will u give me if i send u TGFI's strange pics?

The Smiling Girl said...

$Jane: oiye... Hydie Hindi ki khoobsoorat tereko kya maloom... maa ki kirkiri.. :D
idhar aao tu, tera poora opinion change nahi kiya to dekhlo.. :)

Janefield said...

Smiling "ki bachchi" Girl....i hv seen the so called beauty of hydie hindi for 4 yrs...i can't see it again, thank you :P maa ki kirikiri it seems!!!! i rest my case!!!! :P

The Smiling Girl said...

$Jane: Hehehe....
Chal.. I gotta go and refresh my Hydie Hindi lingo..
Lajjo, be back at this space only after I master few more Hydie Hindi words.. :)

Janefield said...

SG...yes yes learn more gaalis and return fast, we shall use them on Lajjoji :D

Sayesha said...

Pore gal... I know the feeling... I hated having to move every two years too... and the by the time I started liking a place, it would be time to move :/

Lekin eet eej like that... laiph moves on... wattoo do :)

fafridi said...

hey tgfi! my dad being in the defence, we had to move every few years, and its kinda nice u know, coz after say 20 yrs or so of moving around the whole country, anywhere you go feels like home. ur case is different i know, but i m sure once u've got used to hyd' it'll b nice to have two home cities rather than just one :)

SID said...

Ur parents left Mumbai? How could you even allow them to?
Sorry butting into personal realms there but still my personal belief,
Once a mumbaiker, Always a Mumbaiker.

I actually miss being crushed in the Virar trains. And Hyd. not been there. But lotsa people moving there, probably the next disaster like B'lore in the making.

neihal said...

@TCO....'neihal....wot will u give me if i send u TGFI's strange pics?"
kya have started working for the indian govt or what...dene se pehle lena ki baat.

Janefield said...

Neihal....LOL ! Wot to do? I'm totally corrupt only, just ask TGFI ;)

neihal said...

TCO should we officially declare you the "sarkari karamchari of the blogworld"
TGFI...your views?

Born a Libran said...

I agree with the part about not being able to associate with that mentally anymore.. I also agree that it is difficult not to go back and see those same people again no matter where you live... But still, gotta snap up from it because no matter what, time moves on, the Earth still revolves around the Sun, and terrorists are still fighting with wars still raging between neighbors.. In short, move with the flow or you will be left behind...

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

that's true too! things are already so different now!

Hey is that really you?? :)
thanks...:) one more friend in the strange city now..

hi Tachyoson,
thanks for coming over and explaining your name. I knew tachy = swift/fast(?) wasn't sure what -oson meant, tho. Now I see...khud ka dimaag lagaya..hmm? nice.
i still cant get used to a lot of the old places going kaput.
siigh yes, that is another story. on my last visit to bombay i was shocked with the mall culture that's taken over the city..
and the people-ah, they change all the i guess, yes, nothing is really permanent..

arre i will definitely visit mumbai. aisa ho hi nai sakta. and i will call you, and i will tell you my name. OK? :)
yes , got thru my parents. phone lines were down in hyd.

chal chal. high hopes you have.:)

arre s.g, utne bhar bhar ke disclaimers tere liye hi daala maine...i don't know about beauty of hydie hindi, tho.

you see what i'm talking about? and what is this? underhanded dealing with my fotus? beimaan. besharam.

t.c.o & s.g,
oye. ye hydie hindi aur kahin leke jao tum log. hahahaha mere hi blog pe mereko gaali? don't get me started now, haan.

moving every two years must've been crazy. but yeah. life it is.

good for you. :) i need to go to hyd and see it for myself...have only made short trips earlier..

hi sid!
once a mumbaikar indeed. parents had to move, no choice. yes, i miss the local trains too!

neihal & tco,
sharam nahi aati tumhein? exploiting my sadness like this?

tgfi takes one look at the new hyderabadi fashion statement in her wardrobe and bursts into tears! :'(

i also agree that the earth still revolves around the sun...... :)
well, i snapped out of it almost as soon as i posted about it. :)

Born a Libran said...

I read my own comment now and I dont know what made me write that comment... It must have been my alter ego posing as myself... Sorry for that comment - it was more of a rant and not much for a comment for that particular post...

BaL's alter ego: Its good that you snapped out of it... *BaL is listening to his iPod. I have to get my precious back*

Ferocious Killer Kat said...

mumbai absolutely rulesss!!! and I absolutely agree Hyderabad is not mumbai..

The Girl Who Sold The World said...

Alright, Devil's advocate steps in...I actually think it's AWESOME to move around like nomads and live in a different place every few years. Yes, yes, I've done it too...lived in so many cities till now that I love the whole experience. :D What's the point of living in one single house/locality/city/country for your entire life? Where's the change? Where's the variety? I think I might die of boredom if I have to live in the same place for more than five years at a stretch...I'm already bored of my city. Tabhi toh bhaag rahi hoon yahan se. ;)
See it this way...when you go to Hydie, you'll get to experience new things, see a different place, a different set of people, a new language (even if Hydie Hindi sounds like people are linguistically challenged) AND most of all, you'll get to form new memories, which might become as precious as the old ones. :) And just the added advantage would be that you'll never take Mumbai for granted and you'll perhaps always enjoy your future trips to Mumbai even more than you did before.

-fultoo-philosophical-and-high-on-nimbu-paani Navs

PS: Agar khool Jane Doe ko pics bheji jaayengi, toh mujhe bhi chahiye!!! X-( *ready to throw a tantrum*

qsg said...

You can run, but you can't hide! :D

confused said...

err...If you had really ''loved'' your neighborhood so much, would you have moved out of it?

No, I am not questioning that you liked it there, but to my mind it suggests an attempt to cling to a past which no longer exists, a craving for something long gone.

We all go through it, I accept but its kind of silly. :)

jhantu said...

think about the brighter side, the hyderabadi biriyani made in hyderabad and the ....(thinks and thinks some more and thinking still....

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

it's all cool. i am a staunch supporter of the "Rant" philosophy. :)

it's kinda hard to read your comment while keeping my eyes off your pic, but , yeah, something about mumbai rules?? it does!

arre yaar, i don't see myself spending long enough time in hyd to start developing so much of a liking for it. but yes, some change and variety is good, always.

what pics?

running running...

a craving for something long gone
true, that. like i said, i knew i'd never go back to live in mumbai. but it'd have been nice to go back to...
but its kind of silly

oh, my full name is The Silly Girl From Ipanema. but it didn't go with the Thank-God It's Friday acronym, so I took out silly. :) now you know. ;)

hi Jhantu!
hyderabadi biryani. haan, woh suna hai bohat. but what about Juhu Beach ka pav bhaaji??? :( :( :'(

Rishit Jain said...

It's good that you'll be going to a new city, not many people get the opportunity of living at more than one place in their lifetimes.

Ferocious Killer Kat said...

the reason that picture is there so that.. ppl are distracted from the stupid junk crazy comments i make.. hehe.. though in this case.. hmm...

Andy E. said...

It could have been infinitely worse - they could have decided to move to Hyderabad when you were still living with them. It happened to me many, many years ago, and even though we all hated it and moved right back, the trauma still persists for me. I feel your pain.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

i've lived in more than place. i want to go back to MY HOME! That old colony. That same old galli! :X

hehhe. i'm going to google-image-search for something worse than yours now.

oh man! that would've indeed been terrible. but then, like many have said here, perhaps it'd be different, would've made me less attached to one place.. i dunno. but i'm thankful for all the fun years i spent in bombay, undisrupted.

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The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

its rude to make fun of a poor grad student like that.