31 July 2006

Torn between two lovers

“Torn between two lovers, feelin’ like a fool
Lovin’ both of you is breakin’ all the rules.”
[Lines from a song by Mary MacGregor (of the ‘Peter, Paul and Mary’ fame)]

I was born in Calcutta and grew up there. I loved the city. I’ve spent the best years of my life there… that is, the best years of my life until I moved to Bombay in 1995. The reason for my move was purely professional. You see, professionally I’m a marketing consultant, and Calcutta didn’t offer much of a future for me back then. But, I fell in love with Bombay and decided to stay.

Recently I visited Calcutta (now Kolkata), after eleven and a half years, and fell in love with the city all over again. I didn’t feel like returning to Bombay. My old friends in Kolkata and their warm welcome must have been the reason for this… or, at least, that’s what I kept telling myself. Or, was it because I was once again connected with my roots? I’ve heard such things happened.

When I mentioned this to my friends there, they exclaimed, “You’re not going to do an Alex Hailey on us, are you?” No, I promised them. I shall return to Bombay (now Mumbai) peacefully. Return to Mumbai I did, and my friends here promptly asked me: “So, is Mumbai your home now?” Yes, I promised them, it was. It is.

This experience made me wonder what it is that attracts people to places. I understand the lure of job opportunities and money, the economic reasons, but there must be something else besides these. Is there some compatibility, some chemistry, between people and places – just as there is between two people – that we don’t know about or cannot explain? Something that involves us, engages us, binds us, enriches us, helps us to grow and discover ourselves?

And, is this something depended on our personality – our traits, our attitudes, our behaviour? Or, is it genetic and is depended on our DNA? Perhaps, it’s much more complex and is depended on both. Perhaps, it’s just a matter of willingness and adjustment due to convenience. Who knows! For the time being, why don’t I just pass it off as love?

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