A week. That is all I have left in this city.
After spending an odd 16 months in this city, it is time to recollect. During my stay here, I had cursed the city for the trials it had put me through. But it would be thankless of me, if I do not praise it for what it has given me. So this rant would be free from my cribs about this city.
When I came here, I knew only one person in the city, Malav. I did not know the city, I did not have a place to stay. But I had a friend. And that is what strikes me about this city. Within its social fabric, warmth and friendship is the brightest of hues. It is a fabric difficult to get into, as I had found out to my chagrin. But once you do, it is amazing.
I had been part of many a tale here, from the days of house hunting with Malav on his Yezdi, when the broker thought I was not presentable enough to the would be land lords to the day when I finally got myself inked. As a testament to my crazy experiences in this city, here is a letter I once wrote to my colleagues about my phone number..
Good morning designers,
After many (mis)adventures and trysts with reckless motorcades, after enduring scorching heat and relentless rain, I have managed to get meself a local mobile number. For those who think this is but an easy task (and are probably smiling at the nuances of its simplicity), try convincing the SIM provider of your identity under the following conditions:
A> your appearance should resemble a disheveled ruffian out on a stroll [add torn jeans for best results]
B> all your identity proofs should have different looking photos of you
C> you should not be able to read, write or speak the local language [ I have 23 leaflets explaining the various mobile schemes in Gujrati…feel free to translate]
Anyways now I do have a local number. So if any of you want to console me, treat me to lunch/ dinner, teach me the language, buy me a Harley…feel free to call at xxxxxxxxx.
I will miss the quirkiness of this city;
the apprehensions of whether the restaurant for the night has meat on its menu, the bike rides to across the river in search of tasty street food, the journey into run-down shanties for momos, the drives to a different city for music, the peacocks on my balcony, the wait for the bootlegger,..
This city has rewarded me with good friends and amply so. Seldom again would I walk into an office full of friends rather than colleagues. Working together through relentless nights for faceless clients sitting across the globe, working to build a nascent corporation to a point where corporates would trust them with big projects, sneaking off to chai breaks, taking digs at hierarchy, daily battles with the alarm clock, feeling proud when one of the team would be praised for his work by a man who has never met us…its been a great experience.
Wherever we go, whatever we do, shapes us for the better. This was no different.
Many a times I have said to my friends about my present location,
‘ One day God looked at me and said “Ok. This guy has had far too much pork and beer. Let’s put him in Ahmedabad. Let’s punish him.”’
I stand corrected. Maybe what he said was
“ I think he needs a few more good friends. Let’s put him in Ahmedabad”.