I stood under the night sky; as the cool breeze blew against my skin. I stood amongst strangers, whom I would possibly never know, but I never felt like I belonged anywhere more than I did at that moment.
Each of us stood there, with our own lives to live. Lives filled with struggles and obstacles; with our battles to fight, problems to find solutions to, families and friends to deal with. Each of us was clueless about the other’s situation in life. Yet, we stood there shoulder to shoulder, singing “Yeh Hain Bombay Meri Jaan” with a feeling of inexplicable pride, and in that moment we were united as one. Some of us had tears in our eyes. Others stood smiling. Some swayed to the music, some were seen hugging their loved ones, and others were looking around as they took it all in.
As for me, I stood there in awe as this man I had seen performing just once before cast his spell upon us. I was enchanted. It was surreal; to be singing this song for this city I dearly love. To feel so much affection and compassion for people I did not know existed. It was an unspoken connection we all shared, for we were all a part of this magical moment which each of us would cherish forever. I looked around and saw every one of us coming together to beat as one heart, Bombay’s.
A wide range of emotions took over me. I felt a part or something larger than life. This is the city I call home. The city that has shaped me to be the person I am today. The city that has been through hell, and conquered it. This was the same place I’d shed a tear and lit a candle in respect of the deceased of the terrorist attacks of 26th November; the same place I had sat and laughed with my school mates the last time we met, long after school had ended. This is the city where I have witnessed some of the most life changing, heart warming scenarios in my short life. The city that has restored my faith in humanity countless times. The city that has its roots so deep, it inspires me. The city with innumerable stories to tell; where each building holds significance in the lives of many. The city where every day, someone’s dreams come true. This city has taught me to never give up, to fight in the face to adversity. This city has provided me with strength and comfort, love and support, inspiration and beauty.
Inexplicable happiness engulfed me. I felt proud to belong to the city that never sleeps. The city with architectural wonders, cultural and historic value and a home to thousands of lost souls who have finally found the place they belong to. I felt humbled to share it with these wonderful souls standing around me, singing its praise. I felt hope, that someday I would do something to repay this city.
Mumbai is a city. Bombay is the emotion.
Nov 30, 2014
Yeh hain Bombay meri jaan.