Sunday, April 25, 2010

fresh meat

she was 21 when she first came to mumbai.

her train pulled into dadar station at 4.45am and the first thing that hit her was the smell. it seeped through the passageway where she waited in line to get off. the stale smog of tightly packed bodies, leftover food and urine that had collected in the train through the night were no match for it. she noticed the child in front of her wrinkle his nose and burrow into his mother’s neck. but she let it wash over her instead, settle over her skin, her hair, her clothes, make her its own.

when she finally managed to step off with her suitcase, she slammed straight into a fishwife’s warm, moist, reeking bosom. essence of mumbai, she quipped to herself. the fishwife was gone in a jiffy, swallowed up by the churning mass of people. 

nobody noticed her standing by her fallen suitcase. except the ones who pushed her aside. they seemed possessed, these people of mumbai. thrusting through the platform, pressing against each other, swelling out of the exits. the station clock said 5am and all of them were late already.

warden road, she told the taxi driver. he downed his meter wordlessly and they took off on her first ride through mumbai’s muggy melee. her window was rolled all the way down to not miss a thing. the sedate red buses warming up to a busy monday, the traffic beginning to bustle on the streets, the crows and pigeons thronging the trees, the dull buildings jammed together, the slum infested sidewalks, the scuttling crowds. she loved it all at first sight.

the city had no memories to haunt her that day.

everything was waiting to happen.

image source:


Anonymous said...

"she slammed straight into a fishwife’s warm, moist, reeking bosom"

Ummm...That line is going to haunt my weird head today...We will get to read more about her in Mumbai...right? :)

soin said...

if bombay became mumbai what about trombay? it feels left out.poor thing

blunt edges said...

that's so mysterious...let's have some more!

Eveline said...

I'm with Choco. That's a scary-ass image you're leaving us with.
I hope something within you will force you to continue forward with the story. That was totally awesome.

mentalie said...

@choco, slamming into a fishwife's bosom is a haunting experience as many a mumbaikar will confirm ;) i have no idea if there is more to this story as of now...!

@soin, i like so much that you feel sorry for places too. what about objects? did your mother soothe the floor when you fell down like mine?

@blunt, yessir, i shall try my best to comply.

@eve, thank you. perhaps something will :)

Anonymous said...

(the city had no memories to haunt her that day.)
- loneliness a start?
- Cosmopolitan Life a start?

Sangfroid said...


How about something from the 'City of Djinns' :)

This was delightful reading, as always!

Jandy said...

that was visual. and olfactory. :)

R said...

Oh man, I urge you to continue this piece. Please!

last word by the acp