Monday, July 07, 2014

Missing Mangalore

I've always loved Bombay/Mumbai. Being born and brought up here, it's part of my identity, my DNA. But of late, this city has made me question everything around me. I am forced to throw away any rose-tinted glasses I may have put on. Let's face it. Mumbai is extremely burdened. And it pains me a great deal. And this realisation only hit me last year.

My folks have now moved to our native place, South Canara (or Dakshin Kannad). Mangalore, as it's normally referred to even though it's technically not Mangalore city. Anyway, back to my point. I visit at least once or twice a year. Usually, I can't take more than four days of being 'home'. I would miss the Bombay pace and feel like something is missing. Socialising there meant attending five weddings, two funerals, a house-warming lunch, and going to church. Electricity could sometimes be a pain and one would struggle to get a few bars of connectivity on the phone. I'd feel trapped and wait for the days to pass quickly. But that has changed now. I visited my parents in September for the feast of the Nativity of Mary when as per Mangalorean tradition, we also celebrate the harvest and have this elaborate vegetarian meal served on a banana leaf (more on that some other time). And I didn't want to return after my standard four-day whirlwind trip. 

What changed, you ask? Well, I think I've become old. Sounds silly, but I've been rather tired of hoping it will all get better. This city of dreams has made me an insomniac. When I'm extremely tired, I can't nod off to sleep. Once I do, it's barely 4-6 hours of any rest. And even if I do clock more hours of shut eye, I wake up feeling tired. It's not the case in Mangalore. My parents are early risers, so it's a given that they go to bed by 10pm latest. Lights out. I'm forced to sleep. And then, there it is. Silence. Occasionally interrupted by the sound of a cricket or leaves rustling in the wind. But for the most part, it's quiet. Eerie for my Bombay senses. But I get used to it and soon enough I'm zzz-ing away. Cut to 5am... The alarm doesn't go off because I haven't set one. But I'm wide awake. And feeling energised. Like a dead phone that's completely recharged. Back here in the urban jungle, I end up setting three alarms with loud tones on my phone. AND I STILL CAN'T WAKE UP. So, here I am. I started typing this on a Sunday night and it's already past midnight. Monday, bloody Monday beckons. And I don't look forward to it at all. There are a million things running in my head and all I have been thinking of is Mangalore.

(I was only supposed to post a few photos in this post. Too bad the ranting also happened. Ah, well!)

So here's what and why I'm missing Mangalore:

Our Home

Chillies growing at home
Pepper too...
Look up and the sky is always framed by those trees

Dad busy with his gardening and whatnot
Occasional visitors
Bursts of colour

Traditional Mangalore tiles on roofs
Some with a hint of modernity... TV dish and all.
Candy coloured residences at the other end of the spectrum
And some abandoned dreams

Ignore the rant. Hope you liked the picture postcards.


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