Context: I’m going to be in New York for the next 3 months. I wrote this on the flight on the way here. A lot has happened since, but for now I’m dead tired, and I really should sleep so I can get to work tomorrow morning.
I’m leaving you for three months now and this is the longest I’ve ever been away from you. It’s true, that one must explore and not stagnate, but you’re just so damn convenient and comfortable. Besides, you’re the only city I’ve known. As I grow older I find it harder to leave your comfort, which is why I must go now. I know you understand. After all, you will be able to comprehend much more than I can imagine, being a city as big as you are. I will miss you. I will miss your people, I will miss their attitudes, I will miss your weather. Oh, how I’ll miss those rainy days. You shouldn’t miss me, you have far greater things to worry about. Or maybe you will, who knows.
There’s a map on the screen in front of my seat. The white outline of the plane moves further from the dot labeled “Mumbai” with every word I type, at almost 1000 kilometers per hour. 83% the speed of sound, the pilot says. I never liked the name Mumbai much. You will always be Bombay to me. I’m flying over Karachi right now. What I want you to know is that this is not about you, this is about me. I’ll come back different, and you’ll be just the same. Who knows, I might even like New York more. No, that cannot happen in three months, but this is only the beginning. You see, I can only live about 50 more years. In another 6 or 7, my body won’t be able to do all that it can now. This is a lot of time in my opinion. Whether you think this much time is enough depends entirely on what you think you need to do in this much time. I don’t think I need to do as much as most others. but I still have a lot to do. And to do all these things, I can’t sit around in one place. Take this letter for example; it would never be written if I was sleeping under your warm blanket tonight. Take all those songs I wrote in the recent past; they wouldn’t have been born if you weren’t at least an arm’s length away. And as much as I complain about Thane, I know that it helped me find me. And it’s also true that you would rejoice with an entire day of rainfall if you knew how much of you I found inside me.
Nobody’s as big a part of me Bombay, nobody. You’re etched under my skin, you’re a part of my heart, you’re deeper in my head than I know. If I really think about it, at the times that I’m happiest I’m always doing or seeing or feeling something that has to do with you, something that has to do with something we did when I was young, or something that has to do with what I see when I look at you. That may not have made sense to a lot of people, but I know you understand.
I have to find more of me now, I have to make more of me. I also have to make a lot of some thing that is more than me. I have to make , Bombay, I need to create. Whether it’s my own future or yours or whole other worlds. It’s all that really matters right now. What I find and what I create. I hope you know what it feels like.
And so I must go. I’ll always come back, you know. Of course you know. You’re something like the first girl I ever fell in love with, I’ll always have a place in my heart for you. You’re home. In the end we both know that I’m going to come back to you. And we always know where I can come to find myself for every time that I lose myself out there. Here’s to new things, new places and new people. Here’s to new situations, new sights, and new sounds. Here’s to Novelty. Here’s to me.
I’ll be back, 86 days from now, and oh, the stories I’ll have to tell. I know this will have its ups and downs but lets just hope that things don’t get too bad. I don’t know what I want, but can I tell you a secret? I don’t think anybody does. And the ones that think they know exactly what they want don’t even know what’s out there. The day they find out, they’ll be shocked my old friend, they’ll be awe struck. It’s very easy writing a letter to you, you know. It feels almost like I’m actually writing to a friend I’ve known for all my life. Anyway, I should probably get some sleep now. This whole thing with time zones and indirect flights isn’t easy to get the hang of, so I don’t know how much sleep I’ll be able to get. Wish me luck.