Pause. Breathe. Halt. These are perhaps the most belated words in the human vocab. Well, atleast mine. Its clockwork. To run. Am forever chasing, what I like to think, are cobwebs. You see I, like most thrill-seeking folk who believe they are alternative citizens, believe in keeping life complicated. Its a completely different matter that spiders weave straight lines.
Anyway, its monsoon. Its Mumbai monsoon and its supposed to have created a clutter of chaos. And there is that much more urgency to fight for time to weave my web. But today time waited for me.
I walked. I like to walk. It was my absolute favourite thing to do back home. You see, I'm a small town girl. I had no cobwebs to weave back then, my life was plotted in sectors. But I took the occasional long stroll back home, something that was alternative in the hamlet-ghost town.
Here I'm a rootless tree. Challenged to walk mindlessly anywhere, to any corner without question or direction. You see, in Mumbai, every image even resting in the corner of your eye, inspires. This is the city acid flashbacks are made of. These are the colours that spirals in a cokehead. These are the musings of an lost artiste.
Today I walked. I didn't wait for the cab to take me home. The highway, the whizzing cars, the irritable lot stuck in traffic, the conjunctions of chaos stuck in my head quitened. White noise. I wasted time.
The milk stop, the soul street, the dazzling sign boards, the vegetated lush green of wet earth, the cottage-roofed homes - I saw the city transition to smiling faces instead of cluttered conduits of frowned pollutants.
Itd been a while. I'd been watching life passing by like a back seat driver. Collecting used and dampened match sticks in flip flops at a rain thrashed drizzling dusk. Chasing fire flies in the muddy vegetation off a polluted side-walk. Their abode hides the grime of the metropolitan, tales etched into the memory of the concrete beneath the soles of the walking denizens - narratives of the obdurate elves who pretend to live and work in the expansive cloak of what could be their motherland but is their relative land.
Passing a shop window, I caught a reflection. Glee rested in my eyes. I sensed happiness.
So this is to you Mumbai. I've loved you, hated you, gotten to know you better. You've found me, accepted me, changed me, made me a family, broken me, abandoned me, homed me and given this spider a space for her cluttered cobweb. You let me know its ok to be different and its ok to be like everyone else. You've freed my soul, like a helium baloon, keeping my extended string tied to the displaced ground. I keep losing the shifting focal point now and then, but you leave me directions by my bedside.
So thank you lover. Now back to the many more straight lines I must weave.