Culture · India · Letters · Mumbai · Travel

Dear 8:27 Local,

I have been travelling in your lap for quite some time. I look at the city through your eyes. The debauched perspective of this city has rather changed over the past six months. They say ‘Your eyes are windows to your soul’. Well, I think the windows are the eyes of Mumbai’s soul.

Mumbai Local
Eyes are windows to the soul

The daily journey has been quite an adventure for me. Every day I find children, men and women pointing their butt out and having the minor pleasures in life. I sit and count the numbers and sometimes even wonder how many will I see today. Then I like the daily advertisements with ‘wanted women’, ‘wanted students’, ‘make money’ written in bold. I sometimes have the urge to call up these numbers and find out more about the job profile. I like the fact that I see the same woman every day and yet cannot remember any of them.

Just yesterday, I was traveling by train and I hit a woman on her head. We swore at each other and yelled to our hearts’ content. I got pissed and stood near the door. As the train moved from Bhandup to Kanjurmarg, I saw the same small buildings and chawls which I see every day. But I don’t seem to recollect any of them even after passing by them the past ten years. Then when the train halted, I could see dark silhouettes kissing each other though dark window panes. I cooled down a bit, thinking to myself “At least someone is having some fun”. The train continued on its way through the suburbs and I saw the small yellow freckles on huge marshy lands. The freckles must have been the beautiful yellow flowers. I started thinking “What breed are these flowers and is it me only who finds them so beautiful?” And then I felt someone looking at me. I turned back and saw an old school batch mate standing on the other side of the train. We smiled. I had forgotten her name and I am pretty sure she would have done the same too. Now that I think about it, I feel we were in the same scout group. In between my pensive remembrances of school life, the next station came and I saw her getting down. We waved a dubious goodbye. Then I saw the lady who called me ‘Kutti'(dog) getting down at Parel station. By that time we simply looked and acknowledged each other. Now I don’t even remember her face, fight forgotten and forgiven.

So there you are – a complete 45 minute journey. I think the number of emotions that we feel inside your womb is simply exhilarating and sometimes invigorating. You give birth to us every day. We die and are reborn like the phoenix. Only difference is that we take birth from sweat and not from ashes.

One thought on “Dear 8:27 Local,

  1. Hi… loved reading each expression here! Beautiful flow and for anyone who travels in Bombay locals, it feels like you’ve written out what each one of us experiences no matter how short or far the train journey is. Waiting to read more from you 🙂

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