It feels surreal that time can be compacted through mental space despite physical distances. You wake up in Delhi and go to bed in Mumbai. Its been a year, it feels like ages, yet it feels like just yesterday , that I was here. The city seems to have turned timeless, like a constant frame through which people come and go like ants. The heart of Mumbai lies in the contrived domestic space which becomes the starting point for extrusions and explosions , that make the outside of the city the site of such an infusion of energy.
The Gateway lies desolate. It doesn’t hog the light it deserves. Somehow, it seems like its grown aged and no longer interested in bearing mast for its city. The swarms of middle class Sunday crowd seem parasitic to the place. Each little world, a closed decadent cuccoon, trapped within the boundaries of the camera lens, which seems to be the sole witness and jury to the fact of their existence.They try to break free by riding on silver painted neon lit horse carriages. Try to escape the ground that they are so wary of, yet, the ride is momentary in its effect. The horses always bring them back to the same point where they started.
She gets lost in the city. Her feet always need to move. Never on a standstill, they are automatically drawn towards the sea. Marine drive is Mumbai’s threshold into dreamspace. It marks an edge to a human constrained living and an extended threshold into the infinite sea beyond. It is the stage where the city distances itself from you and offers itself for your insatiate gaze. The urban proscenium sells the city to its customers who come willingly to be hypnotized by this edge.
Shards of memory are strewn all over the city like little horcruxes. Figments of images, clinging onto crumbling concrete. The cellotaped apartments , seem to have lost the will to renew. The concrete dark and old , weeps and cries all over the suburbs. The patched up cracks on the dilapidated apartments grow like algae, like ugly magnifications of the dark thorns tucked within the minds of the domestic beings within.
I find myself taller, larger. The city is a child, looking up at me , tugging at the hem of my shirt,leaving behind grimy finger prints and soggy letters.
Mumbai, August 2011