I have been putting this post off for a very long time. The reasons have been parents visiting, flu attacking, work piling – basically unending. However, to me this perhaps is the best round up post for the year gone by that I can ever write. Today as it pours here in Mumbai, I decide to write about the sunshine this city bestows on me.

Mumbai has always been a blessing, for this is the city that I am not ashamed to admit that has made me who I am. It gave me the inspiration to pick up the pen when I had lost out on life. It gave me my first experience of death and how to deal with the loss of GM, a life which I still don’t know how I am coping up with. It pushed me to Hyderabad as if to renew the unspoken vows me and Mistah had committed to each other and we did, marvellously that too *touchwood*. Nobody can take that away from you Mumbai, that even in a lost sea of faces I assume my individuality the best when I am with you.

Mumbai has infact been like GM to me – soothing me, helping me philosophise, making me understand the bigger goals of my life, picking me up from dump and urging me to fly. Hyderabad, on the other dad is like Baba – showing me the brutal facts about my life on my face, with no pretences and then telling me with a firm face that there’s no running away and that I have to deal with it. Moments like those, just the way I have spoken to GM in my head, fought with her for leaving me without a warning, I have craved for Mumbai too. I remember going for the night drives on the ORR at Hyderabad near the airport (we used to jokingly call it going back to the Flintstones ers) – try to make myself believe I was at the beach that lined my old house in Mumbai. The effect though soothing, even in my dazed state I knew I was just trying to fool my own self.

Mumbai has always been the point from where I start again after I give up. To think of it I have no womb connect with this place, yet there’s that invisible foster hand that soothes me each time. I found Tamanna here and then when I had to let her go Mumbai showed me why I was not ready and how it was for the best. Now, after I am back in its own miraculous way it introduced me to PGCAI or  in simple terms to the group that shall help me bring my little one home. Last week I had the first meeting with the founders of the group and it was such a wonderful one that before we knew we had spent 3 hours chatting as against our initial plan of a quick 30 minute coffee grab. The best is that I shall soon start working with a nearby adoption centre and so I have two years to have on hands experience and decide. Mumbai, does it yet again – where again will you have the option to try out mentorship and decide whether you are ready to be a parent.

Last year the pangs of separation were worse because of the discovery of Fibromyalgia and Degenerative Spine Disorder. (I don’t want to go in the details, my survivor story is up here) The worst was that I thought I had hit a dead end and would never bounce back. The only good thing that came of the fear was the fact that I worked my ass off at ISB and grabbed the ISB Award at the end of the year, a thing I feel I earned after tremendous hard work! However, inside I knew I was broken. Even when I came back here I felt that I would never give myself a fair chance in life again.

Mumba Devi smiled perhaps as I said this. Soon after I came here I met a wonderful lady who showed me what living with spirit is all about, a friend called in to say that Purple Pact can be registered, found another wonderful group and yes I found myself the best doctor ever! So were the rainy days over – nah! The pain stayed with me, the Salsa levels 3 and 4 remained a dream as I had to pull out and I became haunted by the thought of becoming obese (yet again!).

There’s something in the air here that refreshes me, there’s something about the Asian Koel that follows me ever since GM left, there’s something sweet about the salty lashes of the sea here that makes me never give up. So began yet another challenge of living with pain but defeating it. How could you let your dreams die, the city echoed. Yes, you cannot be cured but who said you cannot be healed, she reasoned.

True to that I took up yoga in my own feeble efforts, music therapy and color therapy. Found myself a healer, a darling one that too. Slowly, I began forgiving life for telling me NEVER for a lot of things. I read a lot, accepted my situation and started my own process of healing. I wouldn’t let the ghosts of the past affect me. Browsing through this post did make me sad and then this too – would they never come back I asked myself?

I made a pact with myself 2 months back that this post is an appreciation of that very pact. I am proud to say I can buy myself a McD sundae (that is the goal I set for every little promise I make to myself). After they threatened me surgery last year, made me give up everything I love – running, dancing, swimming, travelling, rolling in sand, I stepped in here, the city took one look at me and said “Woman you are not going to live in with me with that face!”

That was it, 2 months later here I am, with my research almost done for my next single title. Have my debut book paying me a good royalty *touchwood*, got a story in the Chicken Soup series, have a story lined up for a collector’s edition with the names of Javed Akhtar and Sashi Tharoor. The nonfiction manuscript of 700 pages is all set for print and shall hit the stands soon. NOW for the best part, after what seemed like ages am returning to the track – got my running permit for MUMBAI MARATHON 2013. I might not be a big deal for millions of others out there, but for me who wakes up with extreme muscle stiffness, who can’t bend beyond a point still, whose first step after a long sit down is still the most dreaded one, who courtesy fibro fog still throws the milk in the garbage and the empty carton back in the fridge and not to forget the excruciating pain, this means the world. Yes, I strongly feel that my resolve to always spread smiles, to surround myself with a job I love and to always count my strengths whenever life throws a cloud burst at me helped me. The lovely friends, the parents who know have taken up to research more about the condition and yes my back bone – my Mistah – can I ever thank them enough? No!

I miss GM today and her special name calling, can’t still mourn her for I know I have got her fiery spirit. Yes, but the time to rejoice is lined with restrictions. Needless to say the Mistah is freaked out and doesn’t approve of the decision to run, but then the man has a simple theory, do not give up because I do not approve, give up if you feel I make sense. So the pact is that I’ll keep doctor informed of every little discomfort, will NOT run if the training session is bad and yes even if I make it to the D day I will not run to win – if I feel after a while this is not for me, despite the preparation I’ll pull out stand by the stalls, hand out the others water and happily watch the parade.

This is my little sunshine on an otherwise cloud burst morning! Didn’t I tell you Mumbai rains always make me smile!

I know this is not a usual Mumbai Mondays post, but then Mumbai Mondays is all about Mumbai and me right, even Mumbai mush! 😛 ❤

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Mumbai Mondays is all about seeing Mumbai and its surroundings through my eyes. It’s my take to introduce you to a city and its surroundings which I love, as I see it – alone and often with friends (we call ourselves the Mumbai Mad Caps). It’s a thread that goes live every Monday. I cover places randomly and welcome suggestions too. You can find more posts about Mumbai Mondays here.

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