My Mistakes In Mumbai
I've interrupted our regularly scheduled posts to share some of my more creative writing with you. I think you will enjoy it and of course, learn a thing or three from it. I plan to share more of my creative writing on here, perhaps we can call it Special Saturdays.
My Mistakes In Mumbai
I made the mistake of holding on to the image of Mumbai I had imagined. I held on so tightly to it that I suffocated myself with disappointment. The disappointment was not at Mumbai itself, for Mumbai is Mumbai and not the Mumbai I had conjured in my head. My disappointment was in my failed imagination. I had imagined the wrong thing and so I was disappointed in myself.
I made the mistake of not accepting Mumbai as she was. I did not accept her and so I was not able to unveil her and see the beauty in the chaos of her streets. I did not accept her and so I could not feel the warmth of her humid embrace. I did not accept her so her sounds were noise and her smells were nauseating and her sights made me cry as they reminded me that my imagination had failed.
I made the mistake of not letting myself be free. Free to fall in love with Mumbai. I did not allow myself to change my mind from the hastily determined disappointment to a genuinely quiet acceptance of a city with its quirks, much like my own - hidden but absolutely wonderful.
I made the mistake of not allowing myself to swim in the river of people that made waves of life. They went up and down and this way and that. Plentiful and full of everything and everyone. They were much. They were many. They were a lot. Instead, I rested in my safety boat of disdain. Disbelief at the sheer number of people that shared my breathing space. I made that mistake too.
I made the mistake of being hard. Harsh. Inflexible. Unable to bend to the raging storm that was screaming at me to relax and fall in love and accept and embrace it all. I was resolute in my determination to be disappointed. I clung to that disappointment like it was my only hope of survival. I held on to the very thing that blinded me to the purpose for my being there. I made that mistake in Mumbai.
I made the mistake of allowing myself to say ‘but’. The people are nice ‘but’. The train isn’t too crowded in the morning ‘but’. I made a good friend or two ‘but’. I got all that I asked for ‘but’. The pressure in my shower is amazing ‘but’. Food is so cheap here ‘but’. They deliver everything to my doorstep ‘but’. I have a great boss ‘but’. So I butted my head until I had incessant headaches. This is a mistake I made in Mumbai.
I made the mistake of not noticing. Too self-involved. ‘Entitled’ - someone said. Wrapped up in a cocoon of ignorance. Ignorant about what was real and what was not real. Ignorant about who was responsible for my success. Ignorant about the way life works. Ignorant that I did not have to do anything but could do everything. I was ignorant and so in my ignorance, I did not notice the magic in Mumbai. This too was a mistake I made in Mumbai
I made many mistakes in Mumbai. Foolish Mistakes, Innocent Mistakes. Expensive Mistakes. Inconsequential Mistakes. Plenty Mistakes. Necessary Mistakes. Misguided Mistakes. Immature Mistakes. Mistakes. Mistakes. Mistakes. Each mistake was Blessed. Divine. Important. Truthful. Honest. From the depths of my mistakes, I was corrected.
I look at my mistakes in Mumbai, not with regret, but with immense gratitude. For lessons learnt, wisdom gained. Perspectives shifted. And Life renewed.
I made mistakes in Mumbai.
But Mumbai did not mistake me.
O. F. P.
04 12 17
You can also read this article on my Medium page