travel

A Tale of Two Cities

Mumbai and Indore are the two cities that I’ve had the privilege to live in. The first, I was born and bred in, and the second I’m currently living in. While Mumbai is the big city where dreams come true, Indore is the small city where everybody loves everybody. Each of these cities has its own beauty, although I must confess I might be a little partial towards Mumbai, it being my home city.

I have constantly tried to resist giving in to the charms of Indore. I still continue to do so. Change has never been a welcome guest in my life. I hate change. Sometimes, even when I know it’s for the better. And so even with this change in my life going from a big city to a comparatively much smaller one, I did what any other change-hater would do. I started finding fault with everything that was Indorean. Looking back, I realize it was just a waste of time and energy but it did make me feel better at that time. But now finally after a very long time, I’d like to think I’ve come around. I wouldn’t say I’ve fallen in love with this city and I want to spend my entire life here. No. That would be stretching the truth well beyond its limits. But, yes, I have made peace with this city. I now truly enjoy eating the various delicacies that the city has to offer (I’m a self-confessed foodie!). The attitude and the lifestyle of the people here which always irked me earlier, now merely amuses me.

One thing I’d noticed on my arrival here was that Indoreans either hated Mumbai or they were too very in awe of the big city. As time passed, I realized this obsession with Mumbai was on a massive scale. It was common to find comparisons made between the two cities in newspapers and radio stations. Worse still, I saw that the ever-growing IT industry, the increasing number of malls and awareness among the youth, has set Indore well on the tracks to becoming another big city like Mumbai. My guess would be another 10-15 years and Indore shall be another metropolitan city of our country.

This thought saddens me to a huge extent because as much as I love Mumbai, it is no Indore. The beauty of Indore lies in its simplicity, the warm and caring nature of Indoreans, and the peaceful and contented lives led by them. Where else will you find complete strangers striking up a conversation on a city bus, people going out of their way to help you find your way back home?

I’m truly a Mumbaikar, in the sense, I like my privacy.  I love travelling in BEST buses and in our locals in spite of all its maddening crowds (yes, I know how bad it can be. I’ve even ended up in tears in a certain Borivili local). I do not like it when someone tries to poke his/her nose in my life. In short, all of these qualities are typical Mumbaikar and very anti-Indorean. In Mumbai, people do not know each other’s names in spite of travelling together everyday, neighbours do not greet each other like one’s own family, and people mind their own business no matter what, which suits me just fine. But when I want a break from all the privately-guarded lives that we live over there, which place do you think I’d like to come visit? No prizes for guessing, it’s Indore.

According to me, it’ll truly be a sad day when Indore will no longer remain the place it used to be. I hope I won’t have to tell my kids that I used to live in a place like Indore at one time. Instead, I would love to bring my kids here to show them the beauty that this place is. On this hope, I’m going to say ciao.

-Lekha Kamat

do bother me on lekhakamath@yahoo.co.in

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When Rehan Ain’t Going Blue

Most of my friends and people around me know me as the ‘swimmer’. Closer friends, who also happen to be swimmers, also, know me as the ‘swimmer’! Family however and maybe very few others, get to see another side of me, a side that I think is more fun, more uncensored, and way more interesting than the ‘swimmer’ avatar that I’ve had to live with for the last 17 years. Though I attempt to write about the part of me that most do not know, it is only natural that you will still see leftover traits of chlorine and water!

I consider myself unique, silly, immature and stupid enough never to accept failure or defeat! I have an ego the size of small country, and a heart, bigger than life itself! I love food, travel, exploring old ruins, castles and the like. Most of my trips abroad have been stress filled because of the racing, but when I do get to holiday, I prefer it being the beach.

There’s one side of me that loves the pool, and another that adores the sea. I could have 100 things on my mind, but if I were to sit back at a beach, I’m refreshed before I know it! Nothing brings me more happiness than the sound of the sea, and, knowing that my silly sense of humour just made someone laugh. I live to entertain!

Not too much of a party animal, I prefer meals and movies with friends and family.

Attention lover, not a seeker, but one who demands it, love to make people laugh and I find the greatest joy in doing so. I hate being alone and the need for company are probably some of my weaknesses. Speaking of such, I’m a sucker for romance and a total die hard romantic.

Speaking of romance, I believe that there is a special someone reserved for us all and when we find that person, we do everything in our power to make them smile. All this comes from the tons of movies I watch, DVD buff, horror fan, gore fan, comedy and romance too! I have watched more movies than I can count, downloaded more than you should know of 😉 Music is my escape, escape from the pressure of racing; escape from the heartbreak of love gone sour. Music comes third on my list of favorite things after my mom dad, and the special girl I’d like to keep secret for now.

If I weren’t a swimmer I’d have probably ended up playing another sport since I love competition! Nevertheless, most attractive to me is improving myself after which comes attention!

I love the fans, the adulation and the respect, and I feel I’ve earned it. I value the support I’ve got from everyone around, and I have a memory that can recollect things said to me when I was a kid.

Facebook: until very recently, my PR engine, my past time and my way of seeing the world! Always used it to relax, get away from the stress and will continue to do so in the future.

Girls: love the attention, love the praise I get, but now seem mundane and irrelevant now 😉

People: in general, I’ve learnt and seen so many different types of people, because of my sport and travel that I think I’m set for life, and have learnt to deal with all sorts of characters!

Fans: mostly motivating, help me realize who I am through tough times, help me stay happy when I’m down. Couldn’t live without them, call them my life support.

HARD reality: some people, who wouldn’t turn around and look at me a couple of years back, now want to be part of my life, social and otherwise. It’s not a compliment but an insult to myself, but I guess that’s the way the world works. Nevertheless, that’s how I’ve learnt to find out who my true friends really are!

Love life: I love videogames, clothes, shoes, watches, fast cars and everything spoilt boys like!

Terribly insecure that people who love me today may not tomorrow, but deep down know that they wouldn’t ever let me down.

Dying to have a dog as a pet, will do so one day, no real plans for the future; I live life one day at a time, and enjoy each moment. Finding something funny in every situation is what I do, making light of a tuff one is what I do better. Being random is a part of me that’ll never change, probably because there are a thousand different thoughts attacking my brain this very moment.

Written too much, hope you read a bit, love me at the end of this blog or learn to do so soon!

Peace !

– Rehan  Poncha ( Olympian and an Awesome Being!)

follow him on http://www.facebook.com/rehanponcha