As you all are aware by now, my parents have moved away from Mumbai to live in a retirement home. I was in Mumbai last month to help them make the move and as we took off from Mumbai, I scribbled the first version of this poem on the plane.
As the plane takes off, I peer out of the window
Unbidden, my eyes fill up and soon the tears start to flow
The city of my birth gradually became smaller
I watch intently until it is but a speck, a blur
I bid goodbye to my childhood and adulthood home
As I see it disappear from high above the aerodrome
Instead of luggage, I take with me so many memories
Of a lifetime spent here, of multitude journies
I don’t know when I will be back, will it be months or years or even decades?
And when I am back, will the memories be still as strong or would they have faded?
And if and when I am back, will it still be home or just another place?
I would hate for this to happen though to my birthplace
Farewell dear Mumbai, the city of dreams
A city within which reside, people of two extremes,
A place where dreams are made and sometimes broken
But the city has space for all because here is all the action
I will return one day, that is certain
But it will be as a visitor, not a resident
Mumbai is in my heart, tomorrow, today and yesterday
And you can’t take a Mumbaikar out of Mumbai