My Solo Dating Life

Solo dates are my most enjoyable dates. Everything else is a blur of regressive social rituals, burdensome insights into other people slipping out from badly created pretences. The agency to be solo is hardwon. Solitude is a privilege for women. Everyone tries to fill up a woman’s time with their needs. Being a visible, approachable ... Read More

Bombay Meri Hain

I’ve been calling myself a Mumbaiker by identity. But yesterday, a compilation of Konkani songs sent me down nostalgia lane. I realised my history is a specific slice of Bombay culture. It is a Bombay of Koli fisherfolk, their current descendents dressing in westernwear rather than a kashta draped saree but still walking the pani ... Read More

Bombay Is Beautiful When It Doesn’t Rain

I mean, look at that sky! I’m rekindling my love affair with the city. Just like any romance, it feels terrifying, disorienting & sometimes overwhelming. I thought I knew this island for life, that its metamorphosing roads would never feel unfamiliar to me. Then I find myself losing my way in places that have seen ... Read More

Soft Places

You can be grateful for the beauty & also upset at the ugliness. The things that inspire these co-exist & sometimes in the same place. Why would the feelings that these bring up, not be able to occupy the same mind simultaneously? Human beings can feel more than one feeling at a time. And one ... Read More

An Illusion Of Taste

On Tuesday, I had lunch with Annapoorna. She ran late but the meal was sumptuous & between us, slightly overspiced. She is known for dramatic excesses, after all. I told her I wanted out. She nodded & picked out a ber. We both know what grows in this city stays here. I looked eastward. Last ... Read More

Rebirth

I’ve been taking tentative steps towards normal life (or whatever that looks like) in 2021. I went to Bandra to meet a friend for a meal & a walk. Two days later, I went out to lunch with my family. It feels like therapy after a surgery, using muscles, thoughts, feelings that used to be ... Read More

What Makes The Culture Of A City?

The best way to know a place is to explore it on foot. Otherwise you’re at the mercy of other people’s preferences, driven by commercial agenda or limited personal narratives. But to go off the beaten path & discover the treasures that every city has, its rich neighborhoods, its deep histories, its delightful surprises, you ... Read More

Island Cruising

I live on an island. Well, seven islands. Tropical islands. It’s a fact most Mumbaikers forget. Just like we miss the daily magic of sea & sun that makes this equitable climate, the zen of changing/predictable tides, the bustle of being a port possible. Curiously I find the water grounding. Sea & sun make for ... Read More

Social Ladder

‘d always find it funny when people said “Bombay gaye the” about visiting South Bombay. And I’d ask, “Where are you now?” Over a century ago, the ‘city’ was concentrated where the affluent (colonial British & the British-adjacent) lived. As happens with ports all across history, commerce flourished & people flocked in looking for fortune ... Read More

Cityzen

I’ve been told my love for Mumbai comes through in my words. It’s true that being of & from this city is a big part of my identity today. It wasn’t always the case. Through my 20s, I saw my future move outward. As my identity expanded from the small neighbourhoods & attitudes I’d grown ... Read More