Hello everybody, it has been almost a month since I’ve made a blog post. Distance and Time, the two famous villains of all times put you in unprecedented circumstances. I’ve sung lot of praises for Distance in my poem “Distance Defeated”. Now comes time. Time has embarked me in Computer Engineering. The need of the hour required me to tighten up my buts and study for the 1st Sessional, even more cause I needed to match up the performance stature in the new branch. And therefore, the frequency of my blog posts decreased. This was time and predicament posed by it. Finally I am here, presenting you my blog post. On one hand when you feel like detesting “Time” on the other hand you feeling like embracing it for the wonderful past you’ve had due to it. This blog post is written to share you with you the vista I bear in my mind of my childhood vacations in my birth-city “Mumbai”. As a kid, for me “Mumbai Trip” to my Nana-Nani’s residence had been the most relevant synonym of vacation. I have countless reveries pertaining to my Mumbai days in my programming obsessed brain. I aim to share a few congenial ones in the post. Here I go:
My ideal Mumbai day started with the sound of steel plates rumbling in the Jain Derasar (A Jain Temple) located in compound of the building. Though vacation I would get up close to 6.30 or 7 AM in the morning. Without mulch ado, my tiny steps would take the path of kitchen where my half opened eyes would see my Nani ma soaking clothes in the detergent water. As she would rub the clothes to soak them well in detergent, soap bubbles would pop up in the tub fascinating me. My inquisitive fingers would be too impatient to see them emerge quickly and would break those bubbles as soon as they appear. My Nani seeing me happy breaking those soap bubbles would find more for me in tub and show them to me. I would rejoice and break them. The pleasure of dismantling those bubbles was far superior to the pleasure I drive by cracking C and CSS codes today. But I wonder, where have the bubbles gone? Have they risen too much that my finger though big today can’t reach them? Or am I so distant from them, that those bubbles though willing to be broken by me can’t embrace my finger? Whatever be the case the bubbles and I are a history now. Neither have my hands remained soft to break them with love nor has the science left their fragile wall to be transparent enough to enchant the child in me.
Moving ahead, the bubble breaking session would then be followed by a mug full of Boost (The secret of Sir Sachin’s Energy). Then followed, a session of watching double decker Mumbai City Transport Bus. I would be too amused to see a bus having two storeys. Hence goes the title of the blog “The Double Decker Days”. I was so fascinated by it that whenever I would go there in Mumbai, every morning my Nanaji would dedicatedly spare an hour to take me in the balcony, make me sit on the balcony wall to see the commuting Red Double Decker buses. Till date, I haven’t travelled in those Double Decker buses even once, but just the thought of seeing them, that too in Mumbai brings a smile on my face. Gone are the days when the juvenile lad in me would gaze at the two-storeyed red locomotive. The reason being, my smile is governed by the upper storey in my body, the brain unlike those childhood days in which the smile would be governed by the agency on the left.
After a bath, followed a round to the Deraser which was just in front of the building. Then, I was too small to understand that it was a Jain temple and the idol there represented Lord Mahavir Swami. I would innocently go up to the temple, join my hands in front of the majestic idol of Lord Mahavir after which I would not at all forget to put a dot of yellow chandan (sandal) paste on my forehead to show people that I had just been to temple. Just then Pujari Dada (the address I used for the priest there) would give me lots of fruits as Prasad. My visits were so frequent there in the temple that he had got acquainted to my visit there and he would be expecting me there every morning. The day I wouldn’t turn up, he would ask my Nanaji, “Kya gayo Amdavadi, aaje dekhayo nahi.”(Where is that lad from Ahmedabad? I didn’t see him today.) I miss the round of sanctity around the temple today. Unfortunately, far is the temple linearly and morally both.
Lunchtime would be a herald of a competition between me and Mamu as to who would eat more in lesser time. The eating competition would reach its peak when Nanima would serve rice to us. Rice would be followed by sipping a spoonful of ghee from a tiny special ghee-spoon. Those ghee sips were too mesmerizing to forget. Ironically, the same ghee sips scare me of obesity today.
A typical Mumbai evening meant eating those Mumbaiya Sandwiches hawked by the Sandwichwala outside the building. Those were the best sandwiches I ever had. Though I do not possess a magnetic tape in my tongue, my tongue remembers the exact taste. After snacks, Nanaji would take me down in the society compound to play cricket. He would tirelessly bowl and I would bat. Though aged, he is an invigorated Indian Superman of all times even today. I remember playing WWE trump cards occasionally with my youngest masi (a MBBS student then) who would readily exchange my favourite cards to make me win. I moan on this stark chronicle of life that neither are those cosy evenings subsisting nor are the cool dusk and the splendour of Mumbai’s setting sun perceivable by me.
One of the most important things to have happened with me in the Double Decker city is my confrontation with the goal of my life-The Computer. One fine evening, I witnessed Mamu assembling a multi-device system. Like an inquisitive child I rested my bums beside him while he was attempting to make the system work. Upon assembly, he introduced me to the Love of my life- The Computer. He familiarized me with different parts- The mouse, the keyboard, the CPU. He made sure I remembered them as he would ask me to identify each one the next day. In a matter of week, I started juggling with Windows 98 (The OS then) and fell in love with this embedded system. It was Mumbai where my journey with Computer began. Each vacation after that I would spend hours on Computer playing games, getting on everyone’s nerves.
Mumbai and Memories became almost synonyms for me then. It was in Mumbai I visited a McDonald’s outlet for the first time in Vile Parle. Don’t know why but I just got hooked to the place and therefore I would make a point to visit the same every time I made a trip to Mumbai. I’ve been to several McDonalds outlets, some in my city too, but the oneness with I derive with the one in Vile Parle is just unparalleled. May be therefore you’ve the Oxford people coining the term “SPECIAL”.
I might just fall in short of words to conclude this blog post. My emotions are intense but abstract. Somehow the nerves in my muscular apricot in the skull have managed to keep these cordial memories caged. I got my Life and Love both in this Double Decker city. Though I’ve lived days a lot less in number in Mumbai but the emotional prudence those days bear is as magnanimous as the Pacific. There are some things the waves can’t erase from sand, some things which time cannot overpower and some things which are solely your possession- The Double Decker Days, they are entirely mine.
Love & Regards,
Anish BhangFod Desai