Photo Credit - www.commonfloor.com
So, what kind of a Bombayite are you?
Are you the kind that wakes up to the sound of the trains or of the buses?
Or are you the kind that wakes up to an alarm in an AC room?
Are you the kind that gets out in the dead of night to explore this city or are you the kind that is scared stiff of this city’s nights?
And when you do get out in the dead of night, do you explore this city on foot?
Or on a bicycle or in a car zooming across the sea-link or in a train going along in its own rhythm or maybe atop a double-decker bus, leaning out of the front window?
Are you the kind that thinks this city is set on a soundtrack or are you the kind who sees no rhythm in this chaos?
And if you do feel the beat, then is it Sufi Qawwali or is it a folksy, earthy lavni beat or maybe a thumping party song?
Are you the kind that colour-codes this city as per property rates, or religious ghettos, or taxi-areas vs auto-areas, or maybe western line vs central line?
Or maybe you are the kind whose idea of exotic is someday making a trip to Mohammed Ali Road and trying its firni. Whose idea of adventure is driving through Dharavi. Whose idea of compassion is making a fancy contribution to the local temple with much fanfare. Whose idea of journalism is words like “fabulous, pioneering, unprecedented” for things that are “mediocre, copied, regressive”
Are you the kind we saw in Satya or Wake Up Sid or we read about in Shantaram or Sacred Games? Or maybe you are the kind all of them forgot to show in their work
Were you the one wrecking havoc in the streets or the one cowering at home in ’92?
Are you the one who cried himself to sleep in a distant city on 26/11 or are you the one who stared all night all bleary-eyed into the Times Now TV screen?
Are you the kind who makes this city’s essential “spirit”? That same spirit which we are told is its endurance test but actually is a recurring collective nightmare?
During monsoons, are you the kind who sees this city as a perpetually leaking gutter or are you the kind who sits by his little window with a cup of tea and romanticizes over a patch of greenery in the corner?
Are you the kind who cant bear its constant fish smell and maddening humidity or are you the kind who notices its constant breeze and the fact that one can sweat away the heat?
Are you the kind who celebrates an unexpected holiday when this city floods/blasts/goes on a strike/calls a bandh? Or are you the kind who steps out just to prove a point, even though no one cares?
Are you the kind who sits in his auto in a traffic jam, abusing his life, his very existence? Or are you the kind who steps out and walks and walks and reaches home and then abuses his life, his very existence?
Or maybe you are the kind who still watches the screen in a TV shop when India plays cricket. Then again, you could have moved to a sports bar cheering for more skilful, albeit foreign, sports and sportsmen
You could also be the kind who earns 10 lacs a month and yet cant afford anything but a train ticket because in this city, a car doesnt run on rail tracks and comes with a fuel tank
Are you the kind that gets inspired by this city’s daily story of decay or are you the kind that shuts it out behind a curtain to really hear the voice within?
Are you the kind who had no choice but to come here and have grown to love it? Or are you the kind who is still pining for home and not been converted yet? Or maybe you are the kind who lived here forever but it never felt like home
Are you the kind who feeds on this city’s energy, passion and single-mindedness? Or are you the kind who feeds on this city’s paranoia, stress and narrow-mindedness?
Are you the kind whose story is defined by this city or are you the kind who defines this city’s story?
Is this city your nemesis or are you its miracle?
Is this city your Gotham or are you its Dark Knight?