Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Madness. Rain fallen madness. The overflowing drains, gutter smell madness. The madness that rises with every high tide and rises and rises till it consumes us. And yet there is something about it. Something not quite seeking the asylum. Yet. Something which says the madness is a welcome break in this great cosmic order. The order which makes us wake up and go and sit on those desks, stare at computers, aggravate our sciaticas and annoy our carpal tunnels. You can’t find this madness even if you go looking for it. It comes to you when you are done hating this great mega of a megapolis called Mumbai. You have to hate it. And yet you end up loving it. Madness.
Every square millimetre of this city is brimming with it. Expensive square millimetre. Rented out, rented in, unaffordable square millimetre. And yet if you are unlucky you could be in Mumbai and get nothing of this beautiful madness like your life was subjected to a low interest rate. Most of our lives are. Deposits lying in bad accounts, accruing nothing. But then again. If you have stared at the lights before they say camera and action you’d know you are mutually funded and stock marketed your life in the right place. For Mumbai is tinsel. Make believe. Dirty, whoring, gigoloed make believe. Isn’t life too? Then why complain. Breathe in and walk about and touch the grime that turns to moondust and sparkles in the imaginative mind. You could be wading neckdeep in the gutter water in a flood in Mumbai and yet and yet feel lucky to be there. Madness. And it comes after you have hated and hated Mumbai and run out of hatred. And run out of it like the arrows thousands of years ago, when, having run out of arrows you were subject to a long tortuous death by Genghis Khan’s army. This is going to be the same. Your reason will bleed itself dry. No logic will help you as you fall, knees first in love with Mumbai. And you will look at the moon hanging over Haji Ali at 2am and your soul will confess an undying love to the city. And you will move out of the city and out of the country. You will become a gypsy living in enchanted lands. You will get drunk on Amsterdam and dazzled in Paris and become a beggar in London and you will return, by accident, to Mumbai and you will get down from the plane and walk out of the airport all ready to hate it. You have seen the world you have seen reason you have walked the famous boulevards and those musty seats of the taxis will make you fall out of love and you will be free of Mumbai. From Mumbai. And you step out arrogantly and you step out and you feel the first kilo of the foul stench at reclamation and you shout with joy and the words come out in a victory march and you know you have lost. For you hear how much you love Mumbai. Madness.