Since the past 15 minutes I was looking for a taxi, profusely with no success. And the weather seemed to be guiding towards a thundershower. I reckon this city has two seasons here: rainy season and non-rainy season. Yes, this is Bombay (Mumbai being its new chant, but I have always liked its primitive name Bombay) city of dreams to some and financial capital to others. It was my second jaunt to this city, and apart from its humid climate and octane traffic, this city is mesmerizing. Bombay amazes me in various facets, right from the morning jogs to the late night toddle of marine drive, the humongous buildings to the petite roadside tea stalls, from architecture to night life, from most billionaires in my country to the largest slum; this city has accommodated all. There is something this city has to offer than the others. I don’t wonder why it is hugely populated.

Anyways, I eventually succeed in the 16th minute and finally made a move. I was to reach ‘Worli’ from ‘Santa Cruz’ to meet an old friend over a movie, a friend I would be meeting after a long time. I picked up a couple of caramel chocolates for her, partially for the sake of her love towards them and partially for running behind schedule. She had always been nagging over my careless and laid back attitude, and that array of mine hasn’t changed yet.

Well, it started drizzling and the roads were getting damp as I witnessed from the panes of the cab, the city looked beautiful in rain. Suddenly my comb was hurled by a red light, and as it happens so often in Bombay I too got stuck in traffic. For a moment I thought I should have bought a couple of chocolates more. I dropped the window panes to get a view of the scenario, when a Volkswagen arrived beside my medium. I noticed a brown haired pretty young girl, with bright jovial eyes sitting in the back seat of it. She seemed happy and cheerful may be due to rain and what can get more beautiful than a happy girl, yes she was beautiful.  She was holding a pug as anyone would hold their most blessed possession. She stretched her hand out to accumulate some pouch of drops and then sprinkled it on her dog; and a smile crept across my face. I have always been a ‘dog’ man, and admired humans relating with pets.  It was then, in between my half baked reflections I remember a poor boy came up to her door, in a semi nude state and sunken ill face, it was palpable he asked for something to eat. He seemed hungry standing bare footed in front of her, drenching in rain. I was observing his gestures to beg food; suddenly he was pushed as soon as he made an effort to touch that prized possession. Yeah he totally deserved it, how can a trodden slum boy touch a ‘Volkswagen dog’? No matter what if he did it for affection or for curiosity! He just can’t, he don’t deserve to, no matter he may also be human, but dearth the value of being one. The window glass went up and once jovial eyes now conveyed only disgust. He turned towards me and looked with no point of expectation, and with void black eyes. The clogged traffic took off, and in that nick of time I could only manage to offer those caramel chocolates to him, which he accepted readily. All that was left with me was a feeling of sorry him, and even more wretch for that girl, with brown hair and bright eyes who looked pretty but didn’t stayed beautiful to me anymore.

How could one be without benevolence?


10 thoughts on “A BOMBAY FABLE

  1. Wow Saaransh. This is very well written. I was born in Bombay, in 1992. Not in Mumbai. I also Prefer Bombay. And yes, You can find any time of person in Bombay. Rich, poor, generous, stubborn, beautiful, arrogant. It was a lovely read. So good of you to offer those chocolates to that helpless kid. Kind. 🙂

  2. You very simply and touchingly expressed the bitter reality of life these days, that the poor are in a worse condition than animals. Humans can keep pets that are expensive to maintain because they are another thing to flaunt in society, yet they don’t consider the hunger of a fellow being. Probably because this isn’t something that can be showed off in their so-called ‘civilized’ society.

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