Saturday, August 30, 2008

Life in the 'FAST' lane...

It is ironic that the city I was born in, the city where I have most of my near and dear ones, is the city I HATE so much.
I speak of Bombay.

When I was younger, I would think of Bombay as an exciting energetic place where summer vacations were spent.

Over the last couple of times I have visited Bombay, I have learnt that the excitement and energy is nothing but senseless activity in a soulless city.

I have seen cousins and nephews being sucked into the mechanical lives that Bombay offers and many a childhood lost to endless hours of tuition and exams attempting to be ahead in some stupid race that everyone in the place seems to be a part of.

On one visit to Bombay, the girl and I were in a crowded marketplace, where we had to stop to let a middle aged lady pass, she was carrying the months groceries and I thought she had the right of passage.
But no, some uncultured (but cultured looking) piece of toxic waste who was standing behind me, said, "keep moving, this is Bombay, you cant stop here staring at people pass by..."
my responses along the lines of "I may look like a super hero but flying is not one of my super powers..." did not go down well with the chap, and he went away grumbling.

So I decided to follow him, and when as expected, he got stuck in the crowd at the next junction, I let rain the same dialogues that he had given me.
This definitely did not go down well with him, so in some wonderful Bombay Hindi, he abused me and my family .
The soul of Bombay, described in a simple anecdote.

This time when I went there, A guy pushed me right down the steps of a railway station in his hurry to catch some train. I thought the poor chap must be in a real hurry to have pushed me like that, but no! he landed up in the same compartment as I :) which meant that after all that, he had missed his train, tch tch so much for expertise in catching trains.

When I tried to get off the train, the oncoming crowd, did not let me do so and down I was again on the floor!
The guy who pushed me this time was nice enough to say "hey you were trying to get off eh?, don't worry you can get off at next station".
This definitely evoked laughter from me :)

I hate generalisations, but I tried very hard to find something nice to say about the place but the people I met seem to have all been contaminated by the city.

This place of sweat and grime evokes disgust and nothing else as far as I am concerned

reminds me of lines from Bhupen Hazarika's wonderfuly sung 'Ganga behti ho kyon'

"Vyakti rahe vyakti kendrit sakal samaj vyaktitva rahit nishpran
ko chodti na kyun?
Itihas ki pukar kare hunkar O Ganga ki dhar nirbal jan ko sabal
sangrami samagro gami banati nahi ho kyun? "

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