Bombay

February 05, 2014  •  2 Comments

 

It has been so long since I have written that my throat feels dry.  What to say?  Somehow I've found myself secured in this warm cocoon with twenty million other people, but there are others here besides humans.  My favorite are the intelligent, curious, meta-world traversing crows.  One of them is my friend; I call her Mel Whiskerson.  She comes to the window and I've won her over with raisins, and now we've moved past the point where she only kaa-kaa's.  She shares other secrets too, only I don't understand them all, but her diverse vocalizations will inspire the fabrication of an entirely new symphony. Everyone here finds crows to be obnoxious noise-makers but I have found that when I took the time to get to know one, she started telling me stories in sounds that were brand new.  I wish I spoke crow.

 

 

What to say about Bombay that hasn't been said?  Embracing.  Confounding.  Dazzling.  Heartbreaking.  Intoxicating.  I can go round and round in my mind but any words I throw out will only be a superlative's Superlative.  Too much sugar in the tea.  So I'll let it all be said by the hundreds of writers who have said it before me.  My silence will speak my heart's big and confusing adoration of this crazy city.  

 

...................................

 

My first couple of days here I was so overwhelmed that I stayed inside the flat under the blanket amidst the shouting of hammers and jackhammers.  This was a new breed of urban for me.  I knew it though, I wanted it.  I know Bombay is busy, but I am still enchanted by her.  Slowly, inch by inch, I toed my way out the door until I found myself riding the seething, sweating trains accompanied by some very dear friends.  So crowded even the trains themselves sweat.  Can you believe it?

 

Sometimes I feel like this: an old woman should not live on the street and have to beg me or anyone else for money.  Or children should not have to be made to perform on the street when they could be in school.  

 

 

But who I am to decide?  I am the one who is not deciding.  Which is probably a good thing: making decisions is not my strong suit.

 

 

I remember when I first arrived back in India, so many moons ago (four? five?) back in October, I was wandering around the Gateway and Taj hotel unsure of where my immediate future would find me.  At that time, I knew one thing only: I was going to Goa to gather myself and practice some yoga and capoeira.  Yet still, even then, something stoked my belly in this city.  I could see, in the madness, a pinpoint of truth: all that there is, the one and only thing that is and ever was and will ever be.  Bombay, in its madness, in its people, in its colors and smells and sounds and heat and not only that, but also in its kindness and indifference and wealth and poverty and Starbucks and juice stalls and smiles, oh, those smiles everywhere and everywhere...

 

I could see something... This platform,this gift that Bombay gives you from the tip of her finger straight inside your heart.

 

 

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily.

 

Life is but a dream.

 

What in the world does this all mean???  Here in Bombay, I have even less of an inkling than I do anywhere else in the world.  And somehow, that brings me peace.  

 

 

 

 


Comments

Curt Peterson(non-registered)
Wow! Makes me want to learn Hindi and ride a sweating train! Very inviting description. Beginning with your own vulnerability is genius! Keep writing and posting these adventures!
farzon(non-registered)
you're a pretty amazbeans writer! not surprising though :)
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