India · Mumbai

Dear Carter Road,

Carter Road

Carter Road

There are many times I have been at the brinks of your shore. Most of the times, I would be having coffee or would be chilling out with my friends. It was two days ago when I sat on the chair with my best friend and we looked at the sea. While looking at the sea, we saw people, people who were walking, sprinting, running, dragging, people who were old, young, pregnant, angry, hyper, poised. All of them had one thing in common. They went on and on like a routine which was compiled by the long stretch of  the road. While looking at the sea one of the glaring similarities were the youth. There were the typical high-end breed, the pretentious kids and the shy suburban minorities. Everyone who passed by us spoke about the same things, but in different lingos.

Scene one: An extremely pretty girl passed by us- short skirt, hair tied up and sleeveless shirt. She was jogging. She was a complete diva without an ounce of make-up. A group of guys just sniggered,’Ladki bomb hain’. There was another group who passed and said ‘Man, looks good’ and finally few professionals who passed by just looking at the woman with the corner of their eye. And in a fraction of second, she disappeared and all the boys continued with their normal unchanging lives. The girl probably must have not lingered in any of their minds. Maybe no one would have recognized her if she walked the second time.

Scene two: The girl came back turned around for a second sprint. The group of guys had changed but the comments remained the same. She went back and forth and every time the men around simply commented.

Scene Three: By this time women in their thirties had also started walking faster when they saw the girl. We could see the insecurity seeping in the older women. In general most of the crowd in Mumbai does not care. The women on few benches with their boyfriend started either romancing with their boyfriends more fiercely or simply stared at her. Only one element on the street was disturbing the entire schedule of people around her.

Scene Four: Finally a guy had the guts and started jogging beside her. Everyone secretly looked to see the next move. The guy stopped and said, “Hi, new here?” By his expression we could understand he was expecting rejection. We all assumed she will have thick accent. An accent developed by Indians which is neither British, nor Indian and definitely not American. She stopped and stared for a while. She made a sign language, ‘Can’t speak’. She was mute. The guy looked at her apologetically. “Sorry. I am so sorry, and he disappeared. The girl again continued jogging.

Scene Five: For the next fifteen minutes, whoever had seen the incident had some new-found respect for the girl. The girls with their boyfriend looked at her sympathetically. The older women spoke about her in hushed tones. Everyone seemed to now love the girl. No one conversed with her, no one smiled.

Scene Six: We got up from our seat and thought of having some yoghurt. We passed by new bunch of guys. “Dekh teri bhabhi ja rahi hain”.The girl was still running ahead. Life at carters still unchanged.

One thought on “Dear Carter Road,

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