I was chatting with my heavily pregnant friend from college when we realised it has been ten freaking years since we graduated! Which also means it has been a goddamn decade since I moved to Bombay! Which just made me take a long, long pause. Because the cliches are all true, where did the time go exactly? And how the hell am I still living in Bombay?
Bombay is a difficult place to love. 22 million people, constant honking, high levels of pollution and infrastructure on the brink of collapse. I moved here from Washington D.C as an enthusiastic graduate film student with lofty goals of making meaningful cinema just because I thought that was a way to prove my intellect or something. I got a job in a generic Bollywood movie as an assistant director which did little to stimulate me on any level. I spend my days running around in the heat managing shooting schedules, handling costumes, coordinating with over 200 people for background action/dance sequences, dealing with every cliched actor/director tantrum and just trying to keep my head above water. The only good bit was I dropped off almost 10 kilos while running around like a headless chicken.
The next few years saw me working on two more films until I just couldn't and finally switched to the more sane world of ad films. I freelanced and then joined a company full time which I loved. I enjoyed hanging with my fun coworkers in a great working space, a really sweet boss, interesting projects with the biggest brands and amazing work trips to exotic countries from Poland to Thailand.
On the personal front, I met some great people who turned into close friends, moved apartments, met a really nice guy (finally after years!) who was funny and kind and smart and who I eventually married, adopted a dog, quit advertising and went back to school for a culinary program (!) and started a business with a friend I had met when I moved to Bombay. It feels like so much and so little has happened at the same time.
Ten years is a good time to take stock. I was a clueless 24 year old who managed to navigate that strange time after college in an unknown place when I was still figuring out what being an adult meant. It has been the longest I have ever lived anywhere and still find it strange to call Bombay, home. But it has been a good home to me. To celebrate, I made a batch of these brown butter madeleines. Delicate and delicious, unlike Bombay these madeleines are easy to love.