Find out what happened when Sejal met Mumbai’s Mr Flash…
Amchi Mumbai, I'm home!
I had only been away from the city for a month while I journeyed to Jaipur and Delhi to continue my adventures on the hunt for a groom, but I had developed such a sense of belonging in Mumbai and my local surroundings here that I was happy to be back…and it meant I no longer had to live out of a suitcase!
Prior to arriving back in Mumbai, on a random night out in Delhi’s Urban Pind nightclub, Shakir, the director of the documentary that is being made, following my story to find a husband, Yogi our cameraman and I befriended a lady who made a real impression on me.
Alisha, was fun, bubbly and extremely warm. Having lost her father at a young age, she had spent most of her life in boarding school away from her family. After her mother remarried, Alisha was put in a position to either marry by 18 or study further away from her mother’s new home.
Craving for the family warmth she had been detached from, at 18, a young and naive Alisha married a man she knew little of via a matrimonial site.
Her efforts to try and fit with this new family unit, including dressing in traditional attire at all times, failed to save her unhappy marriage. After six difficult years and her husband’s infidelity, she courageously started her own life and is now a successful businesswoman. Her relationship with her mother may have crumbled but she was certainly now a strong role model for her younger sister.
I admired how she overcame such a shocking experience and turned it into immense positive energy. As I left for Mumbai, lovely Alisha had already geared up a list of people for me to meet the minute I had arrived. It was very flattering that she was willing to introduce me to so many of her friends having only known me for a few days in Delhi, something that I found quite common here in India. No sooner than I had texted my Mumbai number to her, a response followed in the form of Mumbai’s singleton’s phone directory!
First on the list was the multi loaded ‘Mr Flash’, a huge property entrepreneur. The date began with a tour of parts of Mumbai I had never witnessed before; Carter Road, Pali Hill and the exquisite Mount Mary Church where I witnessed the final daily sermon. As we were driving around with my new tour guide, I couldn’t help but notice that we had been followed for the past two hours.
Sensing the curiosity on my face, he was quick to explain that coming from such a rich upbringing, he was followed by at least three bodyguards around the clock who track his every movement. Bizarrely enough, when we were stuck in traffic that same evening, his main wing man who he hired from the police force, jumped out to the front of the queue of cars, pulled out his whistle and diverted the traffic so that our car could by pass everyone else. It was ludicrous but this was reality, the position of power can get you anywhere in this city.
The same bodyguard also played the part of our male bai (maid) at my date’s house, multi tasking as a cook, waiter and cleaner. It seemed suffocating; I don’t think I could ever sacrifice my sense of personal space. It is a shame that having so much money leads someone to constantly live in fear.
No amount of money or his flamboyant lifestyle could remove the loneliness and unhappiness that was clearly etched on this guy’s face. Divorced at a young age after a failed arranged marriage (with two children which he failed to mention that evening), he seemed wrapped up in his own bubble of thoughts. His mobile phone, which at this point turned into the evening’s sound system, was playing a constant repeat playlist of songs about being heartbroken and deceived. My sympathy towards him developed into frustration as our conversation echoed a pep talk with me playing the role of the agony aunt insisting only he could change his feelings of self loath. Clearly money had bought him luxuries but not true happiness.
As appreciative as I was that my new friend-cum-tour guide had taken me out and allowed myself, Shakir and Yogi into his home, his obsessive nature was too much for me to absorb. I may have initially agreed to just remain friends with him but I could not withstand the umpteen calls and messages received after just one evening and eventually cut all contact with him.
His compulsive personality undoubtedly derived from his many insecurities, which is sad but just not attractive. If Alisha eventually realized her self worth, surely it was something this friend of hers could learn from. As Oscar Wilde says ‘To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance’.
Follow Sejal’s journey to find the man of her dreams on Twitter: @sejal_thefilm