But it’s gone. I can see it in my anger and irritation that the stories generate in me. I can feel it when my stomach churns at the thought of leaping into a packed, running train again. I feel myself recoil at the possibility of being groped, touched without my permission by passers-by, complete strangers who believe they have the liberty and access to my body.
Mehta talks about being an ‘exile’. I heard that thought echo when we were at friends in England and one of them said that she didn’t feel at home anywhere.
I don’t feel at home in Mumbai. I don’t think I ever did. That’s a different statement from having a home there, though. The city is a place where my family lives and works. But that’s the extent of my affection for it.
Every time I go back ‘home’, I echo Mehta’s words. I feel as if I’m in a movie – surely, in the 21st century, things should be better?