Monday, May 16, 2011

The streets of New York

I'm here just a day, and in LOVE. I realize coming from a city like Mumbai where everything's always on the move, with the hustle bustle of people and life, a slow smaller city could at max, entertain me for a while. So compared to where im studying, which is a city i LOVE, but is a smaller student town nonetheless, NY is like home.

I did a lot of the usual touristy things today, walked 45 hours (just kidding, i mean 10) took a subway, rode a tram, went to central park. A familiar feeling overcame me when I was at the subway station and in the train - when I saw an old impoverished, beggar in the train everyone was staying away from. America, and the city I live in had sheltered me from this feeling which plagued me in Mumbai - the feeling of helplessness, of wanting to reach out and help someone, and not being in a position to. Texas is a rich state and the homeless probably lead a better life at this point than I do, as a student. However, NY is a reality check, the same ol cutthroat do or die, survival of the fittest, home to the richest and streets to the poorest - just like Mumbai. when I saw this man, knowing I had not the money or the resources to do ANYTHING and my dollar is meaningless - it was a ride back to the familiar feeling in Mumbai when the streets riddled with people who could use my help, and yet I couldnt. I remember spending a substantial part of my pay on beggars, homeless and other such - i even remember my ex boyfriend and I having numerous arguments over my methods of helping and how upset I would get. but. this. feeling. wont. go. i guess in a lot of ways ill have to learn to live with it.

there are so many things similar between these two cities. both throb with the humdrum of daily lives, of rush and haste and no time to waste, both have a life and soul which transcends the concrete jungle they are engulfed in, both make you fall in love with the lights and sounds and hopes and dreams they allow you to dream. Little wonder it is then, that people try SO HARD to make a life happen in these cities- they allow people to dream that dream of a hope ..
friends who moved here from smaller towns in India to big schools like NYU, Columbia, saddled with the expenses of staying here lived 6 people to a 2 bed for 2 years to get a fantastic job to pay it off in a year. surprised?
New york isnt as plastic and sterilized as some other cities in America, it isn't squeaky clean, it isnt free of hand carts and pedestrian painters and homeless people who sing and play for you in the subway, of bands too poor to have an album but talented enough to make you tear up as you wait for your train (true story) - but new york feels real.

I realize its been AGES since ive been on my beloved blog when my fingers flew a the speed of lightning as I wrote this, no time for even spellchecks. I missed this! anyone who i used to read / read me still around? holla! better yet, anyone in NYC?!


Mumbai Diva said...

i have a friend who moved from mumbai to NY and was amazed at the similarities. she loves it there. NY is definetely on my must visit lists for the next two years.

Aniket said...

For better or for worse, I'm still around. Not as frequent on the blogverse as I would've liked. But still like to pop-up every now and then. I had only been to Wisconsin on my business trip and it was nothing like Mumbai. It was a welcome change and I loved my stay there. I'm glad you're feeling at home there. But now since I've started my own firm here, I'm going to be around in Mumbai for the next few years at least.

Will give a shout out if I ever make a trip there. Glad to see you going places. (and not giving in to Uncles and Aunties)

Serendipity said...

Slightly morose towards the end...
It's a fun place and I guess the quirky resemblance to Mumbai takes a while to get over with...

Go to Greenwich...the world really intersects there.
Not Times Square.

Greenwich Village.

Tongue-fu Lady said...

Hey, I am around too.. Good to know you enjoyed NYC-city of dreams. I fell in love with the City too - so much life! and of course,"These streets will make you feel brand new"

Aditya said...

Not forgotten you, Miss S. :)

I was last in NYC eleven years ago, but even at that age (a mere 17-year-old baby!) I could tell that this was just like my beloved Bombay. Loved the Metro, the crowds and hustle and bustle.

Since then I've been to London and Paris - the latter is far more like India than the former.

Alas, I'm getting used to little towns and villages. But it doesn't mean I don't miss the quiet...

Serendipity said...

Hiii Mumbai Diva! are u still in my fav Mumbai suburb? :)) YES, u MUST visit!

Hi Aniket! whats up! :)Uve started your OWN firm? WOWZA! good luck :) ill be in Mumbai this dec! 1.5 years since i wouldve left home.

Serendipity! yes, will def go to greenwich after that desciption..

TFL - Hellow!! they absolutely do! whats up with u? :)

Adi - Heyhey! I see your being an infrequent blogger too. booya :P and glad to see u around!

Snow said...

Wazaaaa! nice to see a post here! i haven't read/written any post in months (seems like years though!)

oh oh if you're around NYC u must visit this little sleepy town called Hoboken, in NJ. it has the best view of the Manhattan skyline imho. we were aiming to get there at midnight, but we ended up getting there around 5 am and saw one of the most beautiful sunrises :)

funny that one of my last posts, almost a year ago, was about our NYC trip!

Scarlett said...

Hmmm...I know another person who shares your birthday and who spends a substantial part of his pay helping the poor & homeless, and a substantial part of his time & energy rescuing stray animals. No wonder the two of you are two of the most important people in my life.

Coming to NYC, it's a great city. Similar to Mumbai yes, but FAR MORE cosmopolitan I'd say. I can walk the streets of NYC forever.