Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Bombay, Meri Jaan
Suddenly, I am yearning for Bombay. Even the rain and waterlogging. Remembering my first weekend in Bombay, drenched and happy, sitting at Yankee's and singing loudly, chasing away customers. Gokul's tiny pieces of cheese and boiled eggs, served with cheap one-for-one alcohol. Leo's chilli beef and beer. The thrum of Colaba. Sitting on Marine Drive at sunset, drinking oversweet tea and smoking, existentialism in the air. Even those fucking trains. I miss the late night clack of the handrails in the trains when I was the only passenger. The feel of standing at the door and watching the city pass by, faster than fairies, faster than witches, bridges and houses, and lots of shit-filled ditches. I miss the solitude and anonymity the city afforded me, the people, the things we did. Bandstand in the evening. Churchgate station. Go 92.5 FM and Good Morning Mumbai with Tarana and Jaggu. And the chai wala who would make you half a cup of adrak wala chai, kum shakkar, in a city made to order. The sandwich wala who had a cell phone and would deliver a sandwich up to the 9th floor for you when you called down. My little place in Juhu, with windows opening onto green leaves and aerodrome hums. South Bombay at night, roads wide and empty, fluorescent lamps gleaming. Trying to buy shoes on Linking Road. Imagining J trying to buy furry handcuffs on Hill Road. Our trips to Apple Cake, where we embarassed the Bong waiter and P in one fell swoop. And where was it that P ate cake before dinner and they laughed at us? And oh, Pot Pourri, dammit, hallowed site of so many of our sessions. And Toto's and the Shack. And karoke night at Starters. And taxicabs. And all the places where we sat and bared our souls and gurgled with laughter. Zara hatke, zara b(n)achke, yeh hai Bombay, meri jaan.