Oct 24, 2010

Quicksand


"Beach chale?" I asked. Grinning inwards at the kiddish-restless look on his face. And at the childlike sparkle in his eyes at that sentence. Sometimes looks can be so deceiving - Aint I supposed to be the childish one? And he the mature one?

“Haan haan chalte hai chal.” So there we went, running off to what is the nearest, one of the quietest beaches in Mumbai. Ofcourse Salman made a mockery of the wonderful place with a pathetic song… but sigh. Nevermind. It remains exactly how it was. I remember coming here once with Ro a long long time ago. A lifetime ago - but this visit wasn’t about him. Or me. Or anything concrete infact. It was just… a walk on quicksand. That’s all.



“Beaches here… are like lips of a many faced woman. A beautiful woman called Mumbai. Juhu was that once upon a time, the crowning glory in a way…. And now it has cheap red lipstick all over it, all that glitter and noise, and more balloons in the air than clouds, more people than required, more show than real emotion…. This place, is pure unadulterated beauty.” said I, as we sank our feet into the clear waters. The water was warm, and cool, in alternate waves. And the strangest part was, the waves never went back.

He had that funny look on his face again and then he said, “Now I’ve seen Mumbai.”

I laughed and said, “You haven’t seen any of it. Look at it from the eyes of a lover, and you shall see more than you can imagine.”

But of course I know that he couldn’t do. The man always remains faithful, in a weird twisted way, to his first love. The love may leave him, or he may leave her, to find new destinies, but it always remains the remembered love. It’s like cigarettes we discussed in one of random conversations, “I can’t be promiscuous when it comes to Navycut.” Touché, I agree. And this man’s first love was Delhi. No matter where he is, I know he will never allow any other place to take Delhi’s place. It’s a love affair that lasts a lifetime. I know, cause Mumbai will be that for me.

Growing up in Mumbai, the beach has always been an integral part of me. Summer vacations for me didn’t mean going off to the native place, as everyone did. For me it meant the beach, Juhu. For him, he said it was India Gate. I have been there only once, but at once I imagined coming back to one place years after year, growing older each time. And the magic still lingering around always. The waves always made my feet tingle. They do even now. I knew what he meant.

“Can we understand, we humans, that no matter how much we try, we will never be able to control the sea, like the way the moon controls it? The sea will never yield to us the way it does to the moon.. This is the same water body that’s spread across the expanse of the globe… And we are so small.” says he. It’s a wonder how we think the exact same things sometimes. Maybe it’s the sea. It makes everyone feel so insignificant.

We grinned at the fact that we were both photographers, and yet we didn’t have a camera to capture the red globe as it played hide and seek with the clouds, making beautiful patterns out of them. We walked along the edge, listening to the sounds of the tide that was pulling in. He asked questions that I didn’t have any answers to. We talk about life, random things that interests us, which most people dismiss as the mundane. Like a psychology class discussion we talk about life.

We are two very different people, who are freakishly similar sometimes… who think on the same lines more often than not. We both agreed that life… was like quicksand (and we rarely ever agree on anything). Everyone has two versions of life – one that we are living, comfortable and mundane. What we are right now. And another that we always imagined we would be. What we set out to be – the “could-have-been” version. We get so used to the comfortable quicksand around our feet, sinking so deep into it, that we somehow forget that our feet never wanted this – they wanted to roam, see the world and not put down roots. Like a lie that’s repeated over and over again, that’s now the accepted truth, we create a make-believe perfectness around us. Quicksand. Ha!

We laugh about things that are funny to only us. They strike a deeper meaning to us that only we understand. Like when we finally started to walk back away, there was this dog that casually walked across the water that had formed a little stream-lake there, to the other side. We didnt try to walk across because we, like everyone there, didnt know how deep the water went. “Lucky bitch”, he mutters, and then we laugh. Lets call out to her and ask her if the grass is indeed greener on the other side.” I reply that she is already too far along, too busy absorbing the other side to hear the voice from this side. We laugh again. I’m sure that no one will know why we laughed. Lucky bitch.

“What if this universe – it’s all a big, giant lie?” I said as we walked away from the steadily darkening beach. What if it was all this intricate lie that was fed to the entire human race, that no one ever questioned. And somewhere there’s a giggling someone at the entire foolishness?” With the beginnings of a grin he said, “It’s possible you know, the world might not be round at all… We make the universe too important – After all what’s the universe anyway? It’s a humongous big ball of dust right?” I grinned back and said “Maybe. You never know...”

Laughing to ourselves, we went and got ourselves two plates of double bhurji-pav.


~Annie..
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17 comments:

Raj said...

lovely that was. wish i had a first love. to me all of them were firsts. kochi. mumbai. vizag. delhi.
right now even this hellhole.

:)

and beaches in the evening with a friend. mesmerizing.

bliss said...

hey,, great post!! such a change of style but definitely, directly- dil se!
i wonder too about the 'could have been' life but i guess that thought will always prevail because no matter what you do, there will always be an alternate way that you might think you could have done something.
but definitely, spending a nice quiet evening with a friend is the only right way to spend some quality time!!!!!!

Me-Era* said...

So many thoughts in my mind while reading this.
Wow Annie, you are a great writer. Really. You make people stop and think. :)

I absolutely loved this post.

Lucky bitch, right! Ignorance is bliss, as they say! :)

Love ya for writing this. I wish we meet someday, walk along a beach, talk and laugh and have bhurji pav. :)
Anyway, Mumbai has always been my dream destination. I will surely be there. ;)

And beaches! It has been an integral part of me since eternity! I was in Andamans for six years of my childhood! :)

Well, well, lot more to say but I am afraid this will turn into another post! So let it be till we meet! ;)

The Blue Indian said...

Whenever someone asks me why we Mumbaikars love the sea so much, I tell them this dialogue by Konkona in Wake Up Sid- "Is shahar me jahaan sab kuch hamesha badalta rehta hai, ek yeh samandar hi toh hai jo kabhi nahi badalta!"

True friend, loyal lover :)

IcE MaiDeN said...

@Raj,
Thanks!... Its strange how you get so used to the hellholes that they end up becoming a part of you :)

and beaches in the evening with a friend. mesmerizing. - true that. :)

@Smita,
Thanks! Direct dil-se has always been very me :) .. and ya agree with that, there's always an alternative version of events, that sometimes you wish would have been the way it happened.. I hope such moments come far few.. sigh.

Nothing beats spending quality time with a dear friend. Absolutely! :)

@Meera,
Wow.. long comment! :P

Nah, Im just a OK writer, and I rather like it that way.. hehe :)
Come on over to Mumbai anyday, Ill take you to eat bhurji-pav on the same beach :)

WOW. 6 years in the Andamans! Nice! Beaches have that distinct salty smell to them, and the constant sound of the waves... that I absolutely am in love with! :)


@Karan,
I love that dialogue too! Conveys the feelings of every mumbaikar who loves the ocean to the hilt, na?

True friend, loyal lover
Agreed. :)

The Blue Indian said...

Conveys the feelings of every mumbaikar who loves the ocean to the hilt, na?

Totally! And I don't think there is a separate category called "Mumbaikar who loves the ocean", every Mumbaikar loves the ocean! I am pretty sure if I were to ask out a true Mumbai girl and I do it Salman Khan style- tujhe Aksa beach ghuma doon, aa chalti kya? she probably wouldn't mind :P

PS- Aksa pe itna achcha bhurji milta hai kya?

PPS- For your own safety, please don't step into the waters at Aksa.. the quicksand there is notorious for accidents!

Harini said...

Wow Annie! This is brilliant. I never knew you could write like this. Too awesome! I agree with 1st love thing... for me its always Hyderabad :). A post thats from heart always strikes a chord :).

Raj said...

:)

its like family. they may beat you, love you curse you or kill you. you seem to feed on it with the hands of a beggar on cold wet rice.

IcE MaiDeN said...

@The Blue Indian,
Yup.. True. Every mumbaikar loves the ocean.... :) LOL but I dunno about asking the girl out..... :P :D... The bhurji-pav I had was pretty decent...

@Harini,
Thanks!! :)

@Raj,
:)

buckingfastard said...

aww shoot!! these posts makes me miss mumbai!!

love the conversation snippet, not too deep, but always open to judgment... and especially love the fact that their is no give aways deciding if its fact or fiction

:)

Gymnast said...

lovely post..

yes there's always something about the beach..

Here is my thought on the seaside..

http://wwwthegroundlevel.blogspot.com/2010/11/by-seaside.html

Prateek Sur said...

loved ur post..even ur blog..belated happy deepavali to u..
try checking out my blog and commenting on the posts..am following u so i hope someday u'll return the favour..
www.headacheandtension.blogspot.com

IcE MaiDeN said...

@buckingfastard,
:) Come back to Mumbai! :)
Its fact btw.. :P :)

@Gymnast,
Thanks! :) The sea.. there is something about it.. :)

@Prateek Sur,
Hi, welcome here! :)
Belated Happy Diwali to you too.. Thanks for the kind comment!

Cheers,
Annie.

Ananya said...

What about people who don't grow up in one city?

btw, this post made me smile. :)

Just Me said...

Dear Miss 'Mush'
You seem to be what I call "over the TOP romantic". Brilliant :)

I'll be visiting for more. :)

IcE MaiDeN said...

@Ananya,
I guess they have more than one loves then.... :)

Thanks!

@Just Me,
Hello,

Welcome here! :)
This is actually not even a romantic post :P I'm sure you will find other past posts that are wayyy mushier :D

Cheers,
Annie.

Misty Rhythm said...

love this. conversations without a purpose. i so miss them :(...you painted such a beautiful picture. next time, i come down to mumbai, you're showing me around! ;)

hugs!

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