Mumbai was my home for decades. It was the city I spent my conscious childhood, the city that saw me turn into a confused teenager and finally, a woman. Mumbai is where I went to school and college. It is also the city of my first job. I loved the city. I loved that it was crowded but not interfering. I had never ever imagined living anywhere else. Mumbai was home and it was going to remain so. And then, I left it. I got married and moved to Delhi, then went on to live in Kolkata, only to return five years later. In my head, it was a homecoming to familiar roads, familiar weather, and the familiar Mumbai vibe. In reality, it was an intimidating reality check.
I believe that no matter how mature and independent we are, nothing tests our capabilities better than setting up a home from scratch. For my second innings in Mumbai, I was set out to do just that. Our Plan A was to find a lovely fully furnished apartment and just move in. We had struck gold in Kolkata but it was probably beginner’s luck. Kolkata had been nice and welcoming. Mumbai, on the other hand, was making sure that I got the whole experience of a harrowing house hunt. It took us a week of traveling from central suburbs to western, spending endless hours in the famous Mumbai traffic to just zero in on the localities and condos we liked. Four days into the search, I finally accepted that a combination of location, apartment and furniture was a holy trinity that was near impossible to find. I was going to have to give up Plan A and shift to Plan B.
Plan B was a hastily chalked up idea. It was improvisation at its best. We decided to find an empty apartment and scrape up all the money we possibly could and add the bare minimum furniture. I remember we started with the bare necessities and kept adding pieces one by one. We spent endless hours roaming the shops, comparing prices and finding curios that went with the theme. It was fun, exciting, taxing and frustrating at the same time. Today, when I look back at that experience, I can’t help but wonder, why we didn’t think of renting furniture. Probably because the service was not as easily available as it is today.
RentoMojo is one such service that allows you to rent furniture, appliances and even bikes! Services like these are a blessing for people moving to a new city. They can get the utility stuff immediately and curate pieces they love, over time. If we had this option back then, we’d have a perfect Plan C! I love my home, and yes, each item has been handpicked with thought. I just could have done without the haste.
In these five years, Mumbai has become home once again. I have familiarised myself with the same roads, the same humid weather and the same Mumbai vibe. I have learned to accept that the city changed while I was away, just like I did. The renewal of our relationship might have started with hiccoughs, but then, it turned out just fine.