Its exactly a year gone by. Things have changed in a way i couldn't have thought of then. Last year 26/6 proved to be Mumbai's nemesis. The monsoons had wreaked the kind of havoc which has very few parallels in the history of the city. Cut down to 26/7. Its horribly hot and humid. I am sweating persistently; even as I blog. The sight freshmen/women roaming around freely in the institute makes me jealous. In our time, the rains had been so particularly filled with hatred and despise. It was almost racist. The rains were hell bent upon humiliating someone from North India who had dared to make Mumbai his abode for atleast the next 5 years. There was no love lost for the next four years. Final year provided me with the rare opportunity to sit inside my room and get sadistic kicks out of seeing the others get soaked in the rain while trying to get to class to avoid XX. But God had something else in store for me. This is the time Mumbai's fickle weather has decided to play spoilsport. And it all seems so intentional. As if God had this trick up his sleeve all this time while i was braving the monsoons with a very cheap, shady, for-the-name-sake wind cheater. All in the hope that every dog has his day. This dog doesn't.
Another thing that has dramatically changed in just one year is my love-hate relationship with lectures. Till last year it was only mutual hatred. The professors didn't like my attitude which reflected on my grades. And i despised them more than i despised my hostel cooks when they cook any dim sum paneer recipes. Now the things have changed. I still despise the professors as much but love to go to the classes. It gives an escapade away from the humdrum and monotony of existence in my room. And yes, the professor has also started to despise me. Till last year, coffee shack was the place i used to frequent whenever there was a break between any two lectures. Now, classroom is the place where i go in between any two sessions at the coffee shack.
I cannot publish this post without discussing this very interesting incident that took place about a fortnight back. I was coming all the way from Charni Road railway station and had got down at Kanjur Marg from the local. I hailed a rickshaw for hostel. Just as i got inside the rickshaw, a woman also entered and sat beside me. She must have been in her very early thirties and was wearing an unusually hits-you-in-your-eye bright kurta-jeans combo. In very fluent english, she told me that she had to get off a little before iit main gate and sought my permission to hitch a rickshaw ride. My 'aye or nay' was totally immaterial as she had already made herself comfortable beside me, ofcourse maintaining that safe distance which any three seater rickshaw in India affords to 2 passengers. At the sight of her, the rickshawalla flinched and his face contorted into spasms. He muttered something incoherent about how people resorted to shady means to save a few bucks but a steely 'Chal jaldi start kar' from the lady was enough to silence the crook (that was what i thought of him then). The 5 minutes journey was uneventful. Finally she got off a little before the main gate but not before she gave me 5 bucks, a thank you and a disarming smile. I was chillar enough to accept everything. Later, the rickshawallah told me that she was a dhandewaali and he had picked her quite often from shady bars near Kanjurmarg. I couldn't have accepted/refuted his story. So i thought silence would be the best virtue. For the next five minutes i heard all kinds of stories of sleaze and sex around Kanjurmarg. Finally when i got down at the hostel, the rickshawallah had already made me his brother and kept referring to me as 'chota bhai'. An advice on how to behave 'smartly' in Mumbai or face the threat of being laid by such women followed. When he left, i couldn't recollect much of what he said. But i was pretty happy that i had saved 5 bucks.