the wonderful world of veena.

06 January 2015

52 of 52: ringing in the new year in bombay.

At one point earlier this year, it looked as though I may not make it back to India. I hadn't gone a full calendar year without a trip since before 2002. My streak was in jeopardy. And not only that, but I was homesick for good food, cheap drinks, and long-lost friends.

[a reunion of friends at toto's, complete with flowers from manav]
Enter a job offer from Zaya at just the right moment. I was offered the role of a School Implementation Manager in Bangalore with a starting date of 29 December, meaning that I would be back in India before the end of the year and would be ringing in 2015 in Bombay to boot!

[pretty day at the bandra station. and eerily calm considering it was the middle of the day]
It was a bit of a whirlwind week, landing at 3am on a Monday and having to report to work at 9.30am and not really stopping until Friday night, but it was well worth the visit. I got to meet a lot of my colleagues, I got to see Steph and Pete and Manav and Norten and Reishabh and Punit and many other fun people, and in between I met a few new friends as well.

[pav bhajji. delicious]
For New Year Steph and I agreed we wanted something low-key, so we headed to Janata, one of our favourite haunts, because we knew it would be both cheap and laidback. In the 6 hours we were there, we spent less than Rs 1,000 per person [including food + drink], distributed party hats and noisemakers to everyone around us for midnight, and generally had a blast.

[noisemakers at midnight. everyone loved us] 
[loved getting to experience bombay with these two again]
[my new best friend neha]
Somewhere in the middle of it all, I made friends with the people at the table behind us, and so when my friends left around 3.30 in the morning, I joined them for some conversation, some laughter, and a lot of singing old Hindi songs. We left there around 5, and because I was craving the sea, they indulged me and headed off to Bandstand so that we could stroll along the water as the sun began to make its ascent on the horizon.

[pretty decor outside masala zone]
It was a great way to welcome a new year, both for the world and for me as I embark on this new adventure of mine. That Island City will always hold a special place in my heart, and being able to stroll along the sea in the wee hours of a new year only added to my long list of fond memories.

[farewell dinner group]
other highlights included: finally arriving in Bombay after nearly 54 hours of travel; first week at my new job; wandering Bombay at all hours of the day and night; landing in Bangalore and promptly sleeping for 21 hours.

India, it sure is great to be back. I'm not leaving again anytime soon.

*this is the last installment of my of52 series. taking a quick look at the next month or so of my life, I doubt I'm going to keep it going, but I will still have regular updates in some form. we shall figure it all out together.

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