Tuesday, July 10

High speed

So, another hiatus from blogging, thanks to work, the house hunt and the inability to resolve the problem of having things to say, but not a satisfactory way to convey them.

The housing situation was resolved, as these things are wont to do, practically by itself. For a couple of weeks after the last post, I manfully roamed around Bandra, Khar and Santacruz with brokers, looking at various decrepit and overpriced 1-room houses. It was a depressing exercise and I caught myself wondering how desperate one would have to get before agreeing to such unfair terms. Fortunately, I was saved the trouble of finding out. A friend of the room mate (now ex-roomie) was new in town and looking for a place. He saw the house, recognised a good deal and moved in. Everyone was satisfied.

Work is... well, work. Aptly named.

 The rains are here, finally. Considering how intermittent they have been, calling them the monsoons would be insulting past seasons.

After staying loyal to the simple Nokia phone since 2004, I finally bit the dust and switched brands. To Apple. Specifically the iPhone 4. Since it would be only the 3rd ever phone I owned, massive amounts of justification happened with myself to pay for it. Thank the lord for interest-free EMIs is all I'm saying. It is a lovely phone though.

Although I've been in Bombay for 4 years now, I still marvel at the number of people out on the roads after 10 pm. While returning from yet another Pune weekend, the bus took the flyover at Khodadad circle and I watched the sea of humanity swarming around below. With a soft curtain of rain lit by the orange street lights, it should have been a heart-warming scene. A celebration of life. Of being alive.

However it left me jaded and indifferent, rather than inspired. Almost like a grey mist is creeping slowly through my vision of the city and my life here. This melancholic feeling was brought home even more strongly as took the main over-bridge at Dadar. Crossing over to the west, I noticed a man sleeping in a corner. I can't say whether he was old or young. But he looked exhausted. A monkey sat next to him, looking around curiously. Or hungrily, perhaps. A rope was tied from the monkey's waist to the man's leg.

On the staircase leading to the platform sat a woman with a baby. The ludicrous nature of this scene hit me instantly; you could exchange the baby with the monkey and it would leave almost the same effect. Who's life would be better? The baby's or the monkey's?

On the platform, there was a huge commotion. A youngish woman was standing on the track and refusing to move, even as her husband, holding their baby, was coaxing, threatening and begging her to get back on to the platform. I wondered if she had had enough of her life and wanted to end it. Considering how people without money live in Bombay, who knows whether it was justified. Eventually, she was dragged on to the platform by the husband, who then tried to give her the baby. She turned around and walked away, cursing and shouting at him. I wondered what the baby's life would be like.

Bombay teaches you the power of money. Not in the citadels of finance, but out on the roads, with the chaiwallahs, the small snack stalls, waiters at restaurants, beggars, brokers and others at the outer edge of poverty. Every day, the city reminds you that it is better to have money than not. That it is easy to get caught up in routines. That, were it not for happenstance, one could easily have been the baby, the monkey or even the woman on the tracks. 

Song for the moment: Aap ki aankhon mein - Kishore & Lata (OST Ghar)