This week, in one word, has been draining. Draining. On Monday, the auto drivers were on strike, and I was rather happy. For the sole reason that there would be no traffic on the roads and commuting would be lesser of a pain in my back. (I have a back ache problem. And I’m not even old yet. *rolling eyes*) Anyway, so I start a smooth, traffic-free Monday morning and I’m a happy soul once I reach office. However, as it is with all Monday mornings, the tired “worker” in me, wants more rest. And I, very assertively point out to a colleague-friend at work that I want to shut the city down so that I could rest some more.

I have noticed that God has a peculiar way of picking up what I say and making it come true. Now, that I peer into the rear view mirror of my life, I see how things I wanted some months ago are sitting snug in my lap. So, it is not surprising that what I said did come true. That very evening, every thing started to shut down. Picture this, I’m in the company bus on a Monday evening, waiting for it to drop me to the station. The oft-abused, and much loathed Andheri-Kurla road lies almost barren ahead of me, and my happy heart is singing that I’m going to be home early because the auto-nuisance decided to catch a break. But wait, the shutting down is in progress. And the bus driver decides NOT to turn up. For a good 35 minutes, my bus has not moved. To make matters worse, I’m told that the other company bus has already reached Ghatkopar station even before we have started! So, as it turns out nothing good ever came of expecting anything in life! I’m still in the God-forsaken jungle and we’ve not moved an inch. I reach home at my usual time. It’s another ordinary day!

The next day, I didn’t hope it would be better. But it was! Just my luck. The only good thing about it was that I was on the defensive this day (and I was also agony aunt). Through the day I went hitchhiking with people listening to the stories about how their world turned the other way round. Those made for interesting stories about a system shutting down. I mean, how many times in a day do you hear that there is a “special appearance” in someone’s life causing a love story to be spiced up. And then how people get paid to stare at a wall (that’s real i’m not making it up) and how fishes can’t teach you golf so you use your discretion. Rather amusing a day. Brains shutting down.

But God hasn’t forgotten my wish. So, I wake up next day and the most crucial transport system of this city has decided to catch a cold. When I reached the station, it was swarming with people in all sorts of deodorant. Nothing in the city had moved. It was all silent and stationary. I HAD to get to work. So, I walked out of the station and embark on the quest to reach the “oft-abused, and much loathed Andheri-Kurla road”. I took a bus to Vashi Depot. Then a bus to Vashi Railway station. Waited for a bus. No avail. Nothing moved. I took a rickshaw to the highway. No bus for me to get anywhere. The Wednesday sun scorching and taking the life out of me. I took another rickshaw to the Eastern Express Highway. I get dropped off. While I am doing all of this, I feel lost in a game. I have never travelled this way before, I don’t know where I’m going. And I am being charged points (read: money) for this detour. I saw a new part of Bombay. Not new, it just got refreshed. I’m pathetic with roads. If anyone needed the GPS, it was me. Fortunately, I didn’t have one. I didn’t have enough battery in my phone. I didn’t have numbers memorised in case I had no battery and I did get lost. That’s when I realised how dependent we are on technology. If it were my dad, he’d find his way easily. But his daughter? She needs GPS and a phone to get somewhere! (Lord!) The only thing from that I had from yesteryear was patience in my heart. So, I get off at Ghatkopar and hail myself another rickshaw. After some meters of driving, I’m back on my usual route and I feel back in the game. In short, I don’t feel lost anymore. I reach office. I have a rushed day and it’s time to go home again. I will spare the story of how I got home. It’s rather excruciating. So, I got my wish. The city had shut down for me. Everything that I knew should have worked, had stopped working.

Cut to Thursday. The same story. The transport systems I know are still not working. I come to office and my computer is not working. And then, the bulb of hope in my heart is not working anymore. Thurday, the 19th of April, was when I gave up on this city. Nothing could have made me feel it was a fabulous place to be. Nothing told me that it was one of the best cities in the world. As far as I was concerned, it was a God-forsaken place with a meaningless standard of living and I couldn’t be here anymore. I was dejected yesterday with the place that has been home for 25 years now. I didn’t see why I should be here. Today, I don’t give a damn anymore about what I think of this place. I may change my mind someday, but right now on this Friday afternoon, I don’t bloody care. Not because I think it has failed me. It is because I failed myself.

For everyone, there is a limit of endurance. I have reached mine. It may change, and I am hoping it does, but for now, this week taught me two things:
1) There is only so much I can take
2) My wishes do come true

Until I can be more enduring and collected…

-Sameen