Friday, 9 July 2010
The yellow umbrella
One evening as I was driving, crawling back home, I thought, 'there is something about the decay of Bombay that is beautiful.' It can't be the roads. It can't be the smell. It can't be the cars. No, not at all. It can't be the fat faces that bob out of those cars and spit on the roads. It can't be the musty cabs. it can't be me. Far from it. It can't be the film stars. Oh the lost glory. It can't be the sad lament of the sparrows and the watchful eyes of the crows who scan the billboards. It can't be the graffiti on Tulsi Pipe. Yes, that is tired. It can't be the tiger illustrations of those who call it Mumbai. It can't be the ego of being Bombay. For that is as outdated as the Marine Drive. It can't be the paans. Too much coconut. It can't be living in Bandra. Too expensive. It can't be the bookshops. Bookshops? Oh, ha! ha! It can't be the ad industry. They are like the monkeys in one of the recent ads. Ugly, made-up and idiots. It can't be the Western Express Highway. Never before was a more potent irony in a name. No, it can't be the Mahim stench. This particular evening as I was driving home, it had to be the yellow umbrella.