The other day, a friend asked if I had shifted to Pune. I had been checking-in on various social networks in Pune. Incessantly. Needless to say, My sister and both my nieces ensured that I enjoyed my time while I was there. When my friend asked if I had shifted base, I replied: “God, no.”
Obviously a part of me does not want to shift to Pune.
Then, that remaining part of me questions me. I hardly twitched when we had to shift to Hyderabad many years ago; no opposition or complaints, when we shifted to Vasco-da-gama. I am thankful that due to the nature of my father’s work, and his insistence that he would take his family along, I have no roots, so to speak. Maybe I am like a Banyan Tree (I am assuming that’s the tree that spreads its roots wide; if it’s some other tree, just imagine I mentioned that one) But I have made many friends. And thankfully, I have made friends across the breadth and the length of this nation. I have some sense of a regional identity. I do. I feel immense pride however, that I experience a national pride. There are a very few people like me, who, do not have a regional identity. People like us feel comfortable in any place almost anywhere in the world.
I had the entire nation to choose as my hometown. A banker, who travelled the nation taught his children to feel at home in any part of this country. There was a time when I could speak fluent Telugu or Konkani. After I finished my education, it was time, to go somewhere. Goa seemed a very good choice to settle down, then. I’ve always loved Hyderabad; still do.
1994. I chose Mumbai. My first love.
I lived this city. I breathed this city. I made it mine and it made me its own. Since then, my love has only grown.
I saw the various ceremonies that were held today to commemorate the valiant. My hopes from the government notwithstanding, nothing has changed, since a few terrorists came to this city and wrecked mayhem, six years ago. Governments have changed, but the apathy has not. To them this city continues to be place for tax collection.
But, in spite of the apathy, my city will prevail. With, without, in spite of, the government.