I’m about as ‘filmi’ as anyone from the city of Bombay (Mumbai) can be.  I went to a private school and many of the students around me hailed from well off families.  Some even had extensive filmi heritage.  For example. Ranbir Kapoor was 4 years my senior.  I have vivid memories of him playing football (soccer) on our school field, walking down corridors, flirting with pretty girls and attending the school founder’s day celebration as an ex-student. There were several other celebrities that graduated from my school who would occasionally visit for Founder’s day on February 18th each year- Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan and John Abraham to name a few.

I guess growing up in such a filmi city and attending a glamorous school is probably the reason, the Bollywood bug thrives so wonderfully in my blood.  Being in close proximity to numerous theatres, that play the latest Hindi movies and that sell chai,  veggie sandwiches, paneer frankie rolls, samosas and masala corn in their food stalls, is one of the many important things I miss about that great city.  Here is what conversations between me and my friends are like…

“Dude, 5:30 show, Cinemax, Khosla ka Ghosla….be there on time.”- Friend

“Cool, chalo see you then.”- Me

“I’ll slap you if you are late.”- Friend

“Ya, baba..I’ll be there on time I swear.”- Me

“If you are late, I’m not waiting for you…I’ll leave your tickets with the watchman outside…you ass.”- Friend

“Fool, I’ll come na, ass you don’t believe me, chal I’m going to get ready now.”- Me

Just typing the little conversation above is making me feel quite nostalgic.  I love spontaneous Hindi movie plans, theatres within walking distance from my home, watching these movies the very first day of their release and then discussing them with my best buddies/childhood friends at our favourite hangout- Cafe Barista.  Sometimes during the monsoons, I have to combat flooded streets to get to the theatre but in a way that just adds to my filmi mood, and gets me all pumped up for the film that awaits me.

Speaking of Bombay Rains. Oh how can I describe to you in simple sentences, this beautiful occurrence every year.  I think Ranbir Kapoor does a pretty good job of explaining the sensation one feels, at the moment of the first downpour of the monsoon,    in the movie ‘Wake up Sid.’  This has been one of my favourite movies in the past couple of years so please watch it if you haven’t already done so.  It portrays, very accurately, the life of the college student in Bombay.

These unrelenting rains give the commuter so much grief, yet, all Bombayites reap so many benefits.  For one, the first heavy showers instantly cool down the earth and make the city so much prettier.  The heavily polluted air seems more breathable.  My mom will make a fried or spicy snack at home and I will sit on the sofa by the window, drink hot tea and eat my spicy snack. 🙂

When my mom called yesterday to tell me that it had started to rain in Bombay, I felt a huge surge of homesickness.  I usually go home every summer for about 3 weeks but won’t be doing so this summer.  I have to sacrifice this joy so I can graduate.  However, come December, I will be making my way across the Atlantic or the Pacific (whichever airfare is cheaper), to the greatest city in the world- Bombay. Salaam.