Given in the past five years, my entire life has rotated around the suburbs with the thought of going beyond Bandra necessitating overnight bags being packed and fond goodbyes with hugs and tears exchanged, you might surmise rightly that I have not ventured forth beyond the boundary of my cosy suburban cocoon. Yup. There have been thrills in town. The Trident has a shopping arcade that the drooling caused can help me swab a ship with. Fashion Street is fashion street for nostalgia. Though I dont think hopping around and counting out petty change and begging the vendors to give it to us at the odd figure we have left with us would cut any ice now.
So it came to pass that I needed to go into town. In the good old days I went into town everyday. I worked in town and this was a non negotiable if I needed to pay my bills and not live on the streets. Therefore I woke, bathed, and ran. To the bus to the station and from there jump into the first Borivali return fast, grab a window seat and doze off happily. Havent seen the inside of a train for a good decade now I think, and survival skills on a local train have been reduced to zilch. There was a time when I could jump into a train pulling into the Churchgate station and run to grab a seat, and I tell you, this was done with four inch stilletoes on most days. Any person who can do that is instantly eligible for a commando course. The skill levels are beyond the pale of the ordinary person. Precise hand eye and foot coordination, agility, dexterity, manoevering skills, and strong strong arms to shove aside other contenders for window seats. Or dammit. Any seats. I dont think things have improved much over the years. Its been years since I got into a local train railway station but I see the crowds spilling out as I pass them and the old twitch to be allowed to push and shove and yell and fight comes to the fore. In my hey day I could have given them fishmongers a run for their money when it came to putting up a fight. With appropriate yelling and gesticulating and some pushing and shoving too. Yup. I travelled first class too. This was not the junta dabba.
Ah, for the good old days. But then one was young. And the joints well oiled. And the backbone unpierced with epidural and therefore prone on giving up on me in mid jump. Would I dare do that now? Nah. I’m chicken. I have the driver on speed dial. And will now condescend to move from pavement to road to car. This also probably explains why the butt is on a growathon.
Had to go into town for a couple of meetings for Indiahelps yesterday. I almost took out my overnighter and packed in food, change of clothes and shoes, a night suit, and some bottles of water. And of course, a torch, some energy bars, a first aid kit, etc. Seriously though, the trip into town was a jiffy. I was going to Colaba for the first time since 26/11. Part of me wanted to take a recce through the spots the terrorists unleashed terror at. The Taj, the Trident, Leopold, Cama Hospital, CST. The more practical side of me looked at traffic and my predeliction to collapse into unseemly loud sobbing in public situations and begged me to stick to the agenda. Didnt want the nice bright young girl accompanying me to the meetings to shrivel in horror at my unseemly behavior.
I did however revisit an old haunt, Gaylords and drank some lousy bathwater coffee there. Which instead of squashing my four oclock coffee withdrawal symptoms smacked me with a double load migraine and nausea to boot. Their chicken kathi roll however saved the day and the head, and I was human again. I am pleased to announce I was Very Very Good and did not hover for more than even a moment extra near the pastry and cake counter.
Meetings done, I had the arduous task of the drive back home. I left at 6.30pm. I reached home at 9.30 pm. Feeling like I could have gone to Pune and back and felt fresher for it. Seriously, the train would have been a better bet. If only I could rustle up the courage to do the jump in jump out push shove shout scream elbow routine again.
The best thing about the entire trip? A pair of funky canary yellow Kolhapuris the lovely Serendipity gifted me. Maybe I could jump into some trains if I wear these now.