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Some Bombay Resolutions

January 4, 2012

After the confetti settled in New York and I kissed my loved ones, the party I was at began to empty out and just the core friends were left, sipping the final beers and attacking a late night pizza. It was one of those moments where you look around and think, “well I didn’t need the party…so many of the people who are important are right here anyways.”

My darling Nick and I, long before midnight.

Those moments of clarity can be infrequent, but you have to listen to them when they occur. Lately though, I’ve had a lot of clarity about what I want out of Mumbai and my life there right now.

And thus, some Bombay-resolutions for 2012. Some serious, some frivolous, all 100% goals for a great Bombay year.

1. See more of India

I have the blessing and curse of a job that involves a lot of international travel. I love exploring new places and taking flights that I did not pay for. However, I have seen a seriously SMALL amount of India. This MUST change. Places I would like to see in 2012, (an appropriately conservative list, considering time and financial limitations):

Rajasthan: Jaipur, Udaipur

Varanasi

Kerala

Delhi

Jumping in Peru

Jump! This photo is actually from Peru, because I am lame and have gone nowhere in India

IMG_7244

Road trip! On our way to Naneghat, Maharashtra. For a REALLY challenging trek.

1b. Go to Delhi. In January.

I have a LOVELY college friend, Krittivas, who lives in Delhi. I have lived in India for a year and a half and never visited him. I am a horrible person. Horrible.

Krittivas

Krit and I at TRYST in Mumbai.

Krittivas, if you’re reading this, I know I am the WORST! (Looove you!)

Krittivas 2

Me, Krit, and Nicole in Stern, NYU

2. Learn more Hindi

This is a goal I have had for a while. I have to say that my comprehension of Hindi has improved by leaps and bounds since I recently began listening to people speaking Hindi instead of just tuning it out. Funny how that works. I can’t put a measurement or quantifiable goal on just how much Hindi I want to be able to speak, but I would like to be able to communicate with someone who speaks limited/no English and have the conversation go further than “Achaa, tikke….Hogya…Tora Tora Hindi….Tikke?”

3. Buy a Bike

I’m not completely positive that this is possible. Yes, it is possible to buy one. But is it possible for me to ride one in Mumbai? I had one when I lived in New York, and I had one in the Netherlands. It’s an amazing way to explore a city, save money on transport, and have zero-impact commuting. However, I don’t know if I have the guts. Will report back after I have done some serious asessment of my badass-ness and general safety awareness. So maybe I resolve to consider buying a bike.


Bike

This is a teeny picture of my old bike. I wish it was with me in India.

4. Discover 3 new Indian Authors

I am already beginning to work on this one! I started A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, and am loving it! Last year I read Chetan Bhagat (not for his literary ability, which is almost zero, but for the masala of the book, and the general insights the novels gave me into a young-Indian’s mind). Other India/Pakistan focused books I read last year:

* Shantaram Gregory David Roberts

* The Reluctant Fundamentalist Mohsin Hamid

* Moth Smoke Mohsin Hamid

* Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie

* Daughter of Destiny Benazir Bhutto

* 2 States Chetan Bhagat

* Five-Point Someone Chetan Bhagat

* White Tiger Aravind Adiga

* The Hungry Tide Amitav Ghosh

Currently on my “to read” list is The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen, but I already love Sen as an author and as a social commentator, so I still need two additional Indian authors! (I am taking suggestions). Pakistani authors also accepted (Authors from the subcontinent!)

5. Host 2 Parties

I go to parties at people’s lovely Bandra apartments all the time. I host small dinners all the time. I know I can host a kick-ass Bandra house-party in my apartment. I just need to be less lazy about inviting people.

vivek

Heyyy Mr. Vivek. Come to my parties, OK?

6. Find an NGO I love, and volunteer with them at least 3 times

Mumbai is home to thousands of NGOs addressing a breadth of issues with dedicated volunteers. I know NGO volunteers, coordinators, program executives, and directors. However, I recently realized that I haven’t aligned myself to one NGO who’s mission I support. I am incredibly privileged  in my position in Mumbai, but am also not blind to those who are not. This year I will no longer be a guest in Mumbai, but a resident. I will no longer criticize the ills in Indian society, but participate in making them better.

7. Learn to cook 3 additional (and more complicated) Indian dishes

Right now I know how to make Upma, Daal, Chapati, Bhindi Fry, and Humus (okay, Humus is not really Indian, but roll with me). I would like to learn a rice biryani, palak-something, and one badass curry. I think this goal will coincide with resolution #2, because learning more hindi will allow better communication with my cook Jagruti.

food

This is Bronwyn's Yogurt dip. And I actually took this picture in Connecticut. Hence, learn some Indian dishes.

8. Don’t Break any Bones, or Burn any body parts

I have broken a wrist, sprained another wrist, stress fractured an ankle, and burned my thigh. That is an injury to every limb that I have. This is truly ridiculous. I don’t have any explanation for how I injured myself so many times…I think I must have some messed up Karma. So if it is possible to resolve to not get injured, I resolve thusly.

IMG00470-20110818-1805

I look jovial here, but actually I am crying on the inside. Mostly because my coworkers made me pose this way, while they snapped phone pics and laughed at me.

What are the things you are doing this year to enjoy your city/lifestyle more?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2012 6:25 am

    I love these! Can’t wait for more Bandra dinners and to attend your first real party. Miss you! Come home to me!

  2. January 17, 2012 3:59 am

    A lot of these goals would be mine too, if I still lived in India.

    Meantime, I can strongly recommend Kiran Desai’s ‘The Inheritance of Loss’ – okay, I honestly just got chills typing the title in this comment. Not joking.

    • January 17, 2012 6:14 am

      That’s about the strongest recommendation you can give then! Thanks- I’m adding it to the FlipKart list! Just 400 more pages of “A Fine Balance”…

  3. carvaka permalink
    January 28, 2012 7:26 am

    if you are really really interested in india – i will recommend “india after gandhi” – by ramachandra guha. it is actually a history book (about independent india) but very readable.
    another book is nine lives – by dalrymple. which you may find it interesting.

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