From Los Angeles to Mumbai in 1 second

Wow, tiny seats. It is funny how the train that runs through the length of LA has the smallest width height and seats. There is no place for my bag and my water, and god forbid I add a laptop to that. And if you happen to wear a coat or even a jacket, you are going to be taking space that doesn’t belong to you. It is like the trains in New York…congested and tiny.

I remember the last time I was in this train. I discovered it after an hour long taxi ride. I looked out of the window the whole way home, marveling at being able to breathe in without the stink of the outside filth inside the train. And to commemorate that moment, I took a deep breathe today. And the smell…oh, the smell. It wasn’t filth, far away from it. It was medu-vadas and chatni and sambhar – the whole enchilada. Totally confused and convinced I was dreaming, I looked around. Just mushu pork. Yes, I am certifiably home sick.

At the station, a beggar was asking for money and I said nope and then in the train, a woman was selling her wares – freshly made bead jewelry. Yeah, like I haven’t fallen for that before. The number of things I have purchased in Bombay trains for 10 bucks – clips, bindis even a load of lemons.

Then when I come home and wander out at night in my apartment complex, the cool wind hits me. It is refreshing and carries with it a hint of nostalgia. You see this same temperature was part of my daily life at MDI Gurgaon. The minute I feel it, I am taken back 8 years to the multiple walks from the room to the computer center. Its funny how Gupta and Mookerjee are totally forgotten and the cold I remember. It seeps into your bones and taints it. Then you can never walk out the door without a jacket or shawl. Where is that global warming now?

My LA life is like a beautiful lie. It is like I am day dreaming and my Mumbai life is juxtaposed on it and at times the differences melt away and for a few seconds I forget where I am.


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