July 2014 – Unmapped
That I love Bombay as unreservedly as I do is a fact that’s often met with some combination of incredulity, disbelief and bemused condescension, particularly by people born and raised here.
One close friend has warned me not to “get stuck in India.” The wife of an extremely wealthy developer and self-proclaimed “proud Indian” (emphasis very much hers) once told me that, if asked to come up with a list of great things about Bombay, she would have trouble naming even ten. New acquaintances from Bombay, when they find out that I’ve been here voluntarily for the last 30-odd months and that I have no intention of leaving any time soon, will often introduce me to the next person entering the conversation (especially, for some reason, when that other person is old), by saying ‘This is Michael. He really loves Bombay!’ as though explaining that I have an extra appendage or a deep academic interest in higher math. One friend and colleague, a well-known chronicler of the city, responded, when I told him (maybe a touch too effusively?) that I really like it here, with the simple question: “Why?”