After a few weeks in India, I returned home to the US for a short visit. It’s absolutely the perfect time to be here – Spring time. After a stormy week, the weather is now that rare form of perfection – neither hot and humid nor cold and rainy. Just. Perfect. Everywhere I look around my sleepy, sunny, wonderful town I see the vibrant, fresh green of spring and blooming bright flowers – the season of new.
This crisp morning, it feels fabulous to decompress with a great, big cuppa American coffee. (Yes, I know it’s really Colombian, but let’s not fuss a detail). Every morning and every afternoon that I am here, I’ve promised myself this indulgence. Followed in the evening by a nice glass of a Napa Valley cabernet, perhaps?
It’s so quiet and peaceful here. There’s a gentle breeze blowing. There’s literally not a soul stirring, as I sit here early in the morning, enjoying the nothingness and writing away.
Soon, I will get ready and go out. I don’t have to wait for my driver to arrive. I just get in my car and drive wherever I need to go. There will be no honking horns blaring and breaking the silence. No morning prayer chants broadcast over the neighborhood loud speakers. Actually, no neighborhood loud speakers! And traffic jams? We don’t have those here either. Just people politely driving in straight lines within the lanes that have been painted for them, on roads without potholes the size of their car, giving others the right of way as needed, without blinking or cursing or just plowing ahead.
What a world of difference from the other city that never sleeps! Mumbai, you are probably thinking right now, how boring.
It’s quite fascinating that you have two places where the contrasts are so stark and severe. (When you think about it though, you could actually say that about virtually any two places you randomly pick from around the world). More, I feel fortunate about experiencing both these places – in effect, at the same time.
I’m not talking about just visiting two diverse (and random!) places, but actually living in two contrasting worlds, leaving to go to “the other side” when the time has come. Today, as I savor this crisp morning air, the time to leave is not yet here, but I know that it will be, soon enough.
I wonder today, will I ever yearn for life in Mumbai after I have been there long enough? Time will tell, I guess. That frenetic pace and animated motion, the grime and the smell, the noise and the traffic, so many things to do in so little time and what seems like millions of people everywhere, anywhere you look.
Yearn or not though, I promise myself that I will make the most of my time in Mumbai.
And, as for my visits back to my US home, why, I will make the most of them too.
Just consider me two times lucky.