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!


  1. Great post. It almost gives the feeling of experiencing what you've done. :)
    And, I love Bombay. I recently blogged about my love for the city in my post, and it was so long, that I didn't realize the length of the writeup.
    Truly, Bombay is amazing and always has something new to offer. :D