18

Sketching characters

I was talking to Moo the other day about Mumbai and I told her how I feel some cities have such a character built into them and it is very easy to think of it in a particular way. Both of us have lived or are living in a place which is like a mixed pot and doesn’t have that ‘backstory’. The very next day, my conversation with Tatsat lead us to the same route. He said that even if places are different, people are the same. Well, I am still drawing up my conclusions about that. I have had very bitter experiences with people from a certain region at different points in my life. I cant help but judge, but still I would rather not. I am still learning. I have had sets of similar experiences from people where they belong to a particular city/state. But I am not sure if i want to generalize. Just for the heck of it, I thought if my favorite cities were people of my age-group, how would they be….

Pune : Full of youth and gossip, who dresses up in jeans/shorts and a cute top daily, club wear on weekends, and in beautiful suits and sarees complete with bangles and bindi on every festival. Knows how to balance late night movies with classes early morning. Goes with parents for Ganpati darshan and enjoys walking on the streets of Camp with a litchi juice from Marzorin. Is a pro at balancing the old with the new.

New Delhi : Walks around in an artfully ripped jeans and kurta and goes for cold beer-clubbing and lassi-tikka nights with equal gusto. Enjoys jogs early in the morning at India Gate and goes shopping at the high-end retail store as well as cheaps out for the trendiest stuff at Sarojini nagar. Can quote Marx and Premchand at the drop of a hat. CP and Def Col have a special place in their hearts. Goes to weddings in bling that can put Jay-Z to shame.

Mumbai : Has learnt to jump from the running local train in high heels, laughing along with the gajra clad bank-aunty who gets in daily at the borivali station. Loves having corn at Marine Drive and enjoys wine tasting festivals. Plans for Goa/Lonavala/Matheran trips every month with friends. Binge-watches Game of Thrones and has mastered the art of ignoring daddy when he goes ‘aa su che/ he kay aata naveen/ kya hai yeh/ what is that!’

San Diego : Switches up between dreadlocks and free flowing curls every now and then, irrespective of gender. Shorts with flip flops is a staple costume, be it at school or working at Qualcomm. An 18 deg C temperature needs a hoodie and a 21 deg C temperature require shedding of clothes. Usually has a wide selection of barbecue material and sunscreens. Home will usually have a bong, surfboard, classical rock record collection. Avocados are treated as lovers.

New York City : Has mastered the art of calling a taxi, while balancing an ipad, a newspaper, a bagel and a Dunkin’ Donut/Starbucks coffee cup. Teeters around in sharp suits and Jimmy Choos on weekdays and takes lunch breaks in the Central Park. Enjoys mimosas and brunches on weekends. Knows subway routes like the back of their hand, just like the distant cousin Mumbai. Enjoys art and movies and some old school hip hop dancing.

London : Can sport a blue punk rock bob and ironed straight hair with equal ease. May be seen in a leather jacket or a very classy trench coat. Enjoys reading during the tube rides and likes her tea with a hint of lemon and a dash of sugar. Has her fix of Kababs and Saag-Paneer once a week courtesy her South – Asian friends. Scoffs at ‘American slang’ on the other side of the pond. Was glued to the tv when the royal wedding was on live.