Today, after a really long time, I got to roam around my neighbourhood in Dombivli, Mumbai. Due to the half-yearly pilgrimage to the dentist’s, I got to skip work and head there. And as is often the case with me, I ended up having to go in the morning and again in the evening for other procedures. While returning back, I got caught in a duststorm. As lightning flashed across the dark and brooding sky, fat drops of water fell from the heavens.
I was with my dad and as we navigated twists and turns and made our way through various gullies, it turned out to be quite fun.
I got to see the city from unusual angles, not the ones I spy every day on my way to work. And I realised why I love my neighbourhood so much.
No longer a small town, yet still a distant suburb, Dombivli has changed a lot yet retained a certain feel of home. There are small grocery shops and a bakery that still coexists with the more hip and posh ones. There are students pouring out of every nook (it has a very literacy rate), libraries at several turns (there are many parts of the city where there are no libraries left), schools, cybercafes, and much more. And the best part: at every turn, you will come across a whole new world, with varied shops and buildings with a completely different character.
Many years ago, I used to go on similar walks with my mother, and I grew to love Dombivli. Now, as a jaded grown-up, I got to glimpse its subtle allure once again. And I realised that there’s nowhere I would rather be than here.