Maximum City

There are people writing books, some who choose to spam inboxes. I, for one, am speechless. Mostly because of the confidentiality agreement we signed at the start of the internship. But what is not confidential is my view of the city. It’s been a year in Mumbai and I am almost attached to it by now. I say almost because attachment with anything is always fleeting for me. ┬áIndia has a sense of poetry so deeply imbibed in its core that every city seems like a verse but Mumbai, Mumbai is a poem in itself.
Yes, the infrastructure is awful and yes, rains add about 45 minutes to your travel time. But face it, no other city would treat you like its guest every single day. You don’t really belong here, but the city makes you feel at home. It’s a weird middle path between the two emotions. One of excitement over visiting the city for the first time, and other of standing up for the city in front of the critics as if it were your own.
In no other city would being a writer fetch you this many brownie points, and no other city treats its artists with such love and respect. Public transport in Mumbai provides me with that which Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai couldn’t provide – safety! And those who are now going to go up in arms about how Chennai/Bangalore is safe for women, just know that I have indeed lived in these cities and know what safety means and they do not provide it.
Mumbai was once rated the rudest city, clearly, the majority of people who took the survey were rude Delhiites who for some reason just cannot digest the fact that despite of the amazing infrastructure, people still rate their city tad lower than Mumbai. Here is the reason to that, there is no scare of leering men in Mumbai, no scare of the policemen ending up harassing you more if you complain to them, there is no running home at 10 PM scared of venturing out post 11, and most importantly, there is no rudeness likes of which are found on the streets of CP. I have had more number of strangers help me out in Mumbai than in Delhi, Bangalore or Chennai.
Now don’t get me wrong in my heart of hearts I am still that rude Delhiite who tries to (in vain) to find faults with the maximum city. But as my beloved city of Djinns is slowly turning into a true face of capitalistic selfishness, I find peace in the independence Mumbai has given me, an independence that evaded me at the capital. This is the only city where I don’t care whether I have company to watch a play or not, I just go anyway. A city that embraces you the most when you are alone is in its true nature the best gift to civilization.
Be it the walk down Marine drive, or a quiet evening at the Worli sea face, the million malls across the city or the classiness of NCPA or Prithvi, the city lets you live in constant entertainment. Even a daily ride back from the office to the hostel is full of eventful surprises. The city brings out the best and the worst in people both at the same time. It is close to the dark underbellies of slums and yet lives ruthlessly for the rich. Mumbai in its heart of hearts is what a capitalistic society should be about. A society that automatically in spirit, heals itself and grows everyday in its worth, in its value and in its life.


Did I wish on a shooting star
Did I see it pass by
Did I mention how we are not
all angels who have learnt to fly

It’s not about unearthly magic
It’s not about castles in the sand
in this minute my hatter’s mad
and I dream of wonderland

It might not be just a dream
All those things I think I said
The clocks running out fast
across the red queen’s head

Sleeping through the tea time
I wake up to underrated bliss
And now in front of the mortal world
I wonder if I ever was Alice???

the terror chronicles

They apologize
promise a better dawn
do we still live in peace
or are we hell drawn

One man to kill
a hundred hearts
one man who lost
his own endless pasts

They laugh and mock
the bloodied streets
do we forgive and forget
each evil we meet?

He walked away
without a goodbye
his little girl
could do little but cry

They cry out lies
that go beyond the untrue
do we kill them all in return
what would that little girl do?

St Peters Gates

I knocked on all doors tonight
They left me out
in the cold
no wandering souls about

If I were to sing
my old melodies of yore
would you come
try my sins abhorred

Its all quiet now
in those lost shores
no heart beats there
no love lives anymore

If I were to walk
these lost roads
would you let me in
and not leave me out in the cold?

Last breath arrives
like a cold knife in the rain
my sins flash past
as I welcome the pain

If I were to cry tonight
live a penance
would you help me live
and forget my remembrance?

The Wait

I wait, in a dark box
it came as a light
a flickering thought
my mind’s tired flight

We wait all our lives
to be heard
fighting to unlearn
what our heart has learnt

Do I dare to dream
of a day when I fly
or do I walk head bowed
under a crimson sky?

I wait, with a breath bated
unwishing a silence
if only they’d hear
my bereaved innocence

Do I dare to tell the truth
for I am so confused
If I were to lie
would I lie my way out of here….