It rises when you place your feet on its turf–the Mumbai hormone makes you a different animal–a rat to be more specific, a more glorified sewer rat if you are better off financially but a rat all the same. And the cat that chases you back into your hole is simply the search for your soul, lost irretrievably in the rat race you have run from day to night in pursuit of purpose.
Snapshots of my visit:
A book shop “Grant” is lined up beside a haute couture shop called “Pagli”
A young boy in an ensemble of loose fitting jeans, scarf around neck, loose shirt over T-shirt and cat-eyes like they are searching for something, leans on the ‘Starbucks’ café with a nervous energy palpable even from my taxi window.
A slum food court on Juhu beach’s corner with “Kalakhatta” and “Vadapav” centres in Ramada hotel’s neighbourhood with a sandy space in between where a black urchin is washed with fresh water from a white plastic can while ample girths in shorts and colourful swim wear move towards the dirty seawater for a dip, in groups.
All snapshots are preserved in memory for the beauty of just one common thing–the spirit of the people. The soul of the city is lost but the spirit of the people is immortally young, never to retire from its relentless chase of its own fantasy–that of finding it in someone else’s rise or fall.
Oh yes, I bought a book from the Mumbai airport–The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen, Nobel prize winner Economist, is he? Well, the government might be ignoring his suggestions to improve Mumbai’s bazaar. Dhanda toh Manda lagta hai.