Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kaleidoscopic Vision: a colourful night in Mumbai

Once the sun sets and series of yellow streetlights are on, something new awakens in the city that actually never sleeps, under the bright yellow lights I saw a sepia toned Mumbai, where every colour looked as bright as shiny and as deep as its meaning. As I sat in the black and yellow taxi at Sion, it felt as if I am wearing kaleidoscopic glasses as every aspect of this city at night looks different than ever.

I could see the place of pani puri wallahs was now taken over by the Bhurji Pav wallahs. Eggs were neatly arranged in the blue and red carts and bread loafs stacked besides them.The eggs crushed on the oily pan looked yellow, a little dark due to the sprinkled pepper and sported a green colour in between with the spicy green chillies. Even while sitting in the taxi and being far, that colour of Bhurji dipped in oil made me almost smell its pungent, spicy odour.

The stretch that is between Sion and Mahim is as colourful as it can be; the taxi driver was driving carefully as we entered the part of Dharavi. I could see men mostly wearing white caps, women covered in black strolling the streets, it looked like an old black and white film but I couldn’t ignore the five coloured flag representing an ideology from nowhere in the side of the road, to be honest it looked very lonely in the midst of black and white.

As we moved further I saw a red sari, glittered nail polish and golden bangles, they covered a dark body and a wounded soul, that body had eyes, deep black eyes. “She belongs to my kind” I thought, “a kind that I am most afraid of.” As I passed that figure I thought she dissolved in this night making sepia tone darker, how many nights she must have dissolved in, I didn’t know.

Suddenly, I realised that I couldn’t recognise the road i was on. It was dark, and all I could think of was colour red, red for danger, as we entered small lane, it was crowded by group of young men giving friendly curses to each other, it was 11.45 and I found the man in khaki who was driving taxi was unusually talkative. My spine went cold and the sepia tone was now turning in to dark brown as the manhood is capable of making life colorless within seconds in this symbolic society and suddenly i reached the holy road.

The LJ road of Mahim is as holy as any road can be, it starts with the Mahim church followed by the Darga and Shitaladevi temple, at night these holy places look like standalone pictures of old building. I could see the stack of small statues coloured in blue, white and red of Jesus Christ left uncovered due to the sea breeze in front of the church. Somehow my spine came alive as i saw series of familiar streetlights, the unusual journey ended but I am still not able to remove those kaleidoscopic glasses.

Every colour in life whether dark or bright represent emotions...some colours have got deeper meaning, some have the capacity to hide several things!

Monday, June 6, 2011

I wish to write an ordinary story

I want to write a story about a woman who travels everyday in the local train and uses that time to remember god by reciting Jay Jay Ram Krishna Hari, she recites at least 100 times.

I want to write a tale of a mother who brings her mentally challenged child at least twice in a week in children’s hospital that is there on the second floor of my building.

I...wish to know the story behind the person who stands for at least 8 hours making Kababs in a nearby restaurant; I would like to know if his tireless efforts make the Kabab desirable.

Today, I feel like writing an ordinary story of ordinary people. Story about you and perhaps a story about me!

To tell you the truth, my story is not even ordinary. I am not capable of reciting god’s name. I do not have another life depending on me (I can barely handle my own) and I am a soul that is still searching the purpose behind the work it’s engaged with everyday.

It’s like one of those curious cases when your childhood, amateurish dream actually comes true and then you come to know that the idea of dream was better. Then you start feeling unsure about everything because the thing that you were most sure about all the 21 years of your life turns out to be something entirely different and here the story begins!

When we read in extraordinary stories that how extraordinary people whether real or fictional, always emerge from his or her lows, from mud to touch the sky, but my story is different, the story that I wish to write is about sustenance. It’s about a plateau, a poised situation in life where anything and everything that a person does, he or she feels “’s not working out or this is how its going to work out.”

I wish to describe that frustration, that very feeling that you are a looser or failure. I want to give words to the feeling that every ordinary person must be feeling when he is choked in fear of life, fear of failure, fear of social taboo, a fear of god...a fear of death. I wish to include in this story how every second person cursing the current situation reaches a point where he feels “it’s never going to work out ever” and still is able to motivate him or her to pick up a bag and reach office.

Every day when I go home walking on my holy trail from Office to home...those 15 minutes, I guess fate always takes them away from me and makes me look around, it makes me appreciate the efforts made by people to live that very ordinary life, it shows me those people who have learned to enjoy the poise, a stagnant stage of their lives.

Well, it’s not easy to be make yourself understand that this is it. This is what your life is and it is going to prevail till the very end and whatever exciting may be in life will come with certain limitations.

I wish to write such an ordinary story...