I don’t like books that glorify India or any other journey
to any such “exotic” lands. After all I am from one such land not too far away
from India. So, let’s face away from the Gateway of India and all alike for now.
Let’s get to the rats. The dead ones. The smashed ones. The
ones whose eyes are being eaten by a savage hungry crow four times the size of
a normal crow.
You brought me here. You like life raw. I don’t. I like life
dressed up in beautiful colors and with a touch of makeup. I like life in a beautiful night dress and eyes covered with a sky of blue shadow above them right
underneath the eyebrows. I like nails polished with red, pink, purple or the
heck with it maybe even green. I like beautiful, yet plain, jewelry sets. I
like long dresses that bring out the curves and show them off to the world. I like a clean face with clear skin that shines against the
glow of sunshine. I like nicely done hair either updo or dancing all the way
below the shoulders. I like to color my lips with rosy lipstick. In my mind I was once a princess walking around in ballrooms with hundreds of people watching me in admiration.
I like to be the elite. You do, too. But you so naturally
and easily connect with anyone anywhere anyway. I don’t. I like to sit on the balcony of colonial buildings, sip on my
coffee and talk to a girl friend about the burdens of luxury. Once in
a while I put a few rupees in the hands of beautiful glowing beggar whose eyes are
wild, resentful, drunk, proud and lustful, and feel kindheartedly guilty as I pass them by.
To you rats are rats. Perhaps even born to be hit by cars and
eaten by crows. To me rats are ugly disgusting creatures that I want nothing to
do with. But, I can also cry for a rat whose eyes a crow joyously chews.
To you that kitten, whose beheaded body was lying on one side
of the back street next to our apartment and her head on the other, is life. To me the beheaded kitten is
death, is a sign of doomed life taken away prematurely.
To you, with all of your discipline, chaos is the
vein of life. To me chaos is the root cause of stress, of trauma, of unexpected
outcomes that I so passionately fear. You love unexpected outcomes. You find life
in them. I find death in them; loss perhaps.
To you life is the state of being. To me life is a
In a hundred years, I will shiver at the sight of every smashed rat. But, hey, after all crows crave some snacks once in a while and what better than a rat's eye?!
I love you and if you so happen to be in Bombay, I love Bombay, too.