Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Slow Train, Fast Train

Little pocket books being hawked, old uncles with hawk eyes

peering into black-and-whites, not their own, of the men next to

them, in Cambridge shirts, and trousers that have been sewn, frayed

now, by tailors under tin-sheds, just like this one beyond the fence, facing the

tracks, while children with grimy faces, looking like they've rubbed themselves with

bars of coal, coal I've thrown, drunkenly, when it was not required to heat my hookah,

with its tin polish, play with sticks and stones and I don't know what else because I'm past

them in a flash. There they are, the huts, lying on top of each other, like crocodiles under the Bombay

sun, and on top of the top-most ones, there is Dish TV and Videocon, white plates, like saucers, receiving, yes,

signals from space, from a place where there is actually space. I must be between Khar and Bandra, ah, there it is,

Bandra, a place-of-in-between in a place-of-in-between. Sudden swell inside the box of metal. Sweat, fish, bitterness, currency,

mobile phones, expectations, their shattering, everything. Today, the Western Railway is taking us all to Churchgate, no one will get off at

Mahim, Matunga Road, Dadar, Elphinstone, Parel, Mahalaxmi, Central, Grant Road, Charni Road, or Marine Lines because today, we will sit in front

of the water, the saltiness of our disappointments mingling, mingling with the saltiness of the sea, till it all dissolves, dissolves in time for the nine-thirteen fast to Borivali.

5 comments:

piper-of-dawn said...

Welcome back, Sir. :-)

sushruthi said...

Is it weird that this reminds me for some reason of the Paper Planes song from Slumdog Millionaire? or atleast the video of the song?

PS: My limited Bombay knowledge tells me there's a lot of places listed. Did a certain Mr. McCurry inspire or was it just your city playing muse? :)

Anonymous said...

Ah, well..u could have put in a metaphor or two on the Bandra Nallah as well.And i beseech u to watch this BBC Documentary, 'Bombay Railway'.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fIuMzQwGJ8&feature=related
Rest of the parts on the same page.

PS: Dint u forget Mahim and Matunga junction :)

Moares said...

@piper: Thank you, Sir.

@sush: We've already discussed this. *winks*

@anon: Matunga and Mahim were no fitting into the visual form I wanted the words to take. But, as you can see, I tweaked it a bit :)

@myhighlyintelligentreadershipof3whoknowwhattheotheraremissingouton: Due credit to Princess Fajr Dar for setting me thinking about the form.

Fudge said...

Heh. Too generous you are, no Princess I am :P

But yeah, I read it. It reads like a fast train.

And its giving the effect you wanted :)