“New Girl in the City” (sort of)

After a semester and a quarter spent groaning and grumbling away in Mumbai (with a few notable existential meltdowns along the way), I only just realized that I never got around to writing the  generic ‘new girl in the city’ post, which happens to be the purest essence of the “Indian girl” blog genre, and is thus my one true obligation as an almost 19-year-old human of the internet. I can’t believe I have neglected this. I am ashamed of myself and my lazy online existence.

But hey better late than never, right? At least I remembered. That is a big deal if you personally know me.

What will follow is an elaborate breakdown of Rajsi 2.0 with all the tweaks and updates.

First off, I’d like to confirm the stereotype- this city is ridiculously fast-paced. To demonstrate via metaphor, if Ahmedabad was a happy little puppy frolicking in landscaped backyards, Mumbai is a ravenous Cheetah on rollerblades tearing through the Savannas. I can vouch for my acute lack of stamina after a number of breathy walks on sidewalks and across roads. So intense is the speed of this bizarre metropolitan world, that I have to catch my breath every time I even dare leave my apartment (not that I have bothered to change myself to match it any better- the burden of this particular problem lies entirely on my shrug-prone shoulders.)

Second off, I must confess my secret exhaustion. It becomes increasingly unsettling when I stay out too long in the company of flighty, fun-loving friends who don’t need to charge their introvert batteries as desperately as I  need to. In fact, the facial muscles of professional extroverts constantly befuddle me when I see this species effortlessly charm entire nights away at the meager cost of a little, smudged mascara and mild, breathy exhaustion.The lifestyle of the cheery continues to remain a puzzling enigma. My judgemental, slacker lifestyle that I have always shamelessly sported appears to be approximately the same, but I cannot deny that there has been a perceptible change in how I move through the motions.

I have unconsciously begun to walk faster and developed the sort of urban impatience that honking taxi drivers in the spirit of traffic perfectly represent. I still tend to wander and get lost, but well I just do it a lot faster now.

Additionally, my ability to avoid all undesired eye contact has been almost perfected and my 180-degree peripheral vision to stare at vague, scandalous college mates could easily shame international spies.

There is also much to be said about my newly acquired elitism. I recently graduated to a whole new level of social escapism and snobbery. Somehow, my approach to companionable acquaintanceship has become suspiciously Slytherin- I use people with brains to clear my own head. I ignore the uninteresting. I vent out my thoughts for personal articulation and then I leave behind baffled, stressed-out folk as debris. I selfishly navigate through the electric ocean of adolescent group dynamics like an indifferent, hipster jellyfish.

Oh, and I do not rise above stealing stationary and cutting my own hair.

Do I qualify as a monster yet? 

Even though I was always one for introspection and generally excessive thinking, the new me makes me quite uncomfortable sometimes because it requires self-analysis and tangent elaboration like an addictive drug.  (my sense of humor is not tailored to this city yet. I have to keep myself amused most times).

If you are getting any ideas by now, let me just say that I am not sad or depressed or any of that morbid business. I am actually having the best of times, doing what I want to do, growing into myself, dabbling with new ideas, reading interesting things every day.

Life’s great.

It’s just that I have changed, and I am extremely aware of it. It irks me how I could become so different so easily. My self-image has had to undergo considerable (reluctant) alteration. I am clearly not as nice as I used to be.

“People change” is what everyone always told me, but nobody gave me instructions on what to do when I began to morph myself.

What are you supposed to do when you suddenly don’t crave Burger King any more? What foundation of your personality do you go on believing in then?

So keeping tabs on my own evolution (devolution?) is suddenly imperative because I have come to acknowledge that one day,  I might wake up in a strange, exotic country and not even recognize myself. It is not impossible.

I know that I become an indistinguishable part of the world around me. The world is what I see, and what I am, becomes the world.  If there is existentialism, there is also the butterfly effect. As a person, I must not just adapt, but also understand more with each passing day. I cannot resist novelty if I wish to survive and thrive as a human being. It is the foundation of all integrity in our species. I’ll just have to roll with it.

So, after all of that self-dissecting and philosophical tangents, here is me trying to hold on to parts of myself as I let go of the others.

Here is me hoping Rajsi 3.0 turns out to be a happy human too. Maybe just a little less distracted though.




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