Friday, February 11, 2005

Mumbai

The streets filled
with people,
coming and going
minding their own business.
Stopping for a moment,
means running the risk
of getting trampled on.

Stalls selling chai
in little plastic cups.
Dogs in deep sleep
under the hoods of taxis
hiding from the scorching sun.
Taxi-wallahs
looking for passengers.

Each block has its own smell:
freshly made samosas,
mouth-watering sweets,
flowers, trash,
human waste,
sandalwood incense,
and of course,
freshly made chai.

A city filled
with millions of people
from the richest
to the poorest;
Homeless kids begging for money,
even younger ones playing
on the sidewalks.
What will become of them?
Who will look after them?

A blind man singing
in a crowded train,
from the deepest part
of his heart,
makes you want to
give him everything
you’ve got
but I let him pass me by.
Grateful
to the next guy
who gives him a rupee.

Seeing the poverty,
one can fathom
why the rich,
want to hold onto
their wealth:
the fear, the insecurity,
of becoming like --
the others.
Poverty
so close to home.
The glamour of Bollywood,
fancy restaurants,
designer stores
much more
appealing.
It’s easier to look
the other way
than to find
a solution.

Yet, there are
the courageous ones
who find ways to help
that often go unrecognized.
Bit by bit
they’re making
a difference.
Food for the hungry,
services for the poor,
a kind word for the down-trodden.

This is Mumbai,
Gateway of India.
In all its glamour,
With all its trials
and tribulations.

2 comments:

Shveta Puri said...

wow, that was beautiful. I got all the images in my head, the smells in my nose, and the last few paragraphs i felt in my heart:)

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