Keeping a blog is difficult; the non-stop hustle of daily life and the constant pressure to keep your writing compelling and witty for the masses. I can’t take it, I can’t take it I tell you. But in earnest, my apologies for the delays. Sometimes I get too busy, too lazy, or too self-conscious to keep this blog up. A million other excuses.
Life in Bombay is becoming strangely mundane. On any given day I wake up, go to work, and come home. In the middle of all of that, I [manage] to feed myself approximately three times a day, bathe, and make jokes with my co-workers. Occasionally I meet up with friends and family passing through the city. On weekends, I sometimes lock myself in the house and binge on entire seasons of The Wire, or become immersed in Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy or White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Sometimes, I manage to get myself out of the house in search of an art exhibit, play, or lecture. Perhaps this could be New York City.
But alas, I am reveling in this urban life. The unremarkable motions of a working life are supplemented with the sheer, simple joy of navigating my way through the train, and the self-inflicted insistence that I cover as much of the city on foot as possible. Early in my stay, I had a conversation about how suburban life inevitably makes you dumber, and I can vouch for this first hand. During my five months in Charlotte, there were days when I could feel my IQ points slowly falling away as I wasted hours watching Friends re-runs and perusing Facebook on my parents couch. Of course, there is no one to blame for my proclaimed lack of stimulation than myself; had I the prerogative, I could have scoured the whole of Charlotte for its vibrant cultural life and would have been sure to find friends, activities, and events suited to my interest, but I often felt debilitated by my surroundings, as if the mechanical drone of suburban life was actively suppressing my ability to take interest or initiative in anything. I concede that my experience lies somewhere at the intersection of those two things. The architecture of suburban life is designed to make your life easy in that way: go to work, come home, relax with little incentive for seeking out stimulating intellectual activity, but my parents aren’t wrong, it isn’t always where you are, but what you make of it.
I’m not sure if living in Bombay has made me smarter, as such, but it as made me keener. Despite the fact that I often find myself in bed until at least noon on Saturday mornings, I constantly find myself compelled to go outside, explore the city, and take in the wide range of sights, sounds, and smells I find even in my own neighborhood. Rather than pointing out the drastic differences between my life “here” and my life “there” I am finding myself compelled by local on-goings, politics, and culture. Trying to decipher the incredibly complex things we call “India” and “Mumbai.”