It had always been my dream to settle down in Mumbai. After all, it’s the city of dreams, right? I lived in Akola, a small city in Maharashtra, far from the hustle and bustle of the land of bollywood. Once a year, my sister and I would take a trip to Mumbai… I guess it was the food, the people, the variety and the never-dying energy of the city that kept us coming back for more. Never had I ever thought that I’d get married to someone who lived here, until one day…
I was madly in love with a boy from my hometown. Everyone knew about us… Our family, friends and relatives, we all knew that someday we’d both get married to each other. I knew him for more than 4 years and so it came as a shock to me that all this while he had been lying to me about his profession. I loved him no doubt, but I would never want to settle down with someone who wasn’t honest. Turning down his marriage proposal was the hardest, but it had to be done.
I took a break from relationships after that. My mother got worried and took it upon herself to find a suitable match for me, and she eventually did. Turns out he was from Mumbai. Had a steady job and came from a well reputed family. It didn’t matter if it was arranged, I just wanted escape and so I agreed to meet him.
He was a man of few words. Completely opposite of the chirpy girl that I am and nothing close to the man I had imagined as my life partner. Yet I took the risk and decided to go forward with the proposal. And with that I moved to Mumbai, not as an annual trip but to actually spend the rest of my life there. Being a small town girl myself, the first few months of living with his family was tough. We had language barriers and moreover our lifestyles were very different. There were days when I cried to go home, but after thinking about what I had been through, I stuck it out. Since my husband required to travel abroad for business, months would pass by with me just living with his family. Whenever he returned, he always showered me with gifts and would spend time taking me around the city.
We would take a walk on marine drive, talk about each other’s lives and enjoy sipping on hot chai and eating mawa cake at Merwan Bakery, Grant Road. Slowly, I opened up to him. I shared with him my struggles of living with his parents, I told him about my past, my dreams, my ambitions… I literally broke down and told him everything about myself. He just stared at me and said nothing. A bear hug followed after. In spite of coming from two different worlds, we managed to merge the two.
It took us 8 long years to move from his family’s house and buy a small, yet cosy apartment in Bandra. Living separately gave my husband and me the freedom, liberty and time that was missing. We owed no one an explanation, and lived a life of small joys. Mumbai as a city is a playground for opportunities. It’s taught me to have faith, be patient and stay strong. It is the city of dreams, but only if you decide to make them come true for yourself. I loved it before, and I will love it all my life.
As for my husband, he is my rock. It took me years to fall in love with him, but his honesty and constant support won my heart forever. I can never go back to being the same person who I was in my hometown. Time and places change people, and mostly, it’s for the best!