Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mumbai magical in the morning

(Sun peaking out of a foggy Mumbai sky)
I go to the Bandra yoga classes in the mornings, shivering fitfully in the auto. When I wake up for the class, I do get the occasional twinge at how I am slaving like a dog (I must be up by 4.30 am just to get things organised around the house since I am gone before/almost when the rest of the family is waking up) and if I should take on such far-off assignments. But when I am inside the auto (bliss, to find one and even greater one, to have a regular autowallah ferry you to your destination, as is happening with me) and look at little children walking long stretches in small groups I feel sheepish at my own laziness. The kids are out in the road, with the occasional stray dog barking at them. Some working women are also out, standing all alone in lonely stretches along the highway, waiting possibly for a co-worker to pick them up. The Pune commuters are also out -- u can make that out by the bags. And you feel that the whole world is about and busy and wonder why you felt lethargic when u were preparing to step out. Hey, some hardcore walkers and joggers are either out enthusiastically gossiping, or listening to ipods/mobile music or just slogging alone. That looks so cool. The best face of Mumbai is in this period, pre-dawn, dark, busy and empty.
I am a bad photographer even when things are steady. Catching pictures on moving auto is higher challenge:) But it is my Nokia Xpressmusic that has managed to give some form to these shaky images below...
This is the stretch along the Goregaon's Aaarey Colony -- the greenery is unbelievable. The sun is peaking out, golden, still untainted by Mumbai's pollution. Some poor people are using the bushes for the morning ablutions. Today I saw an interesting (!) sight -- a man had crapped, and was throwing water to clean up the mess, over a pavement. You know, if I was a rich builder -- instead of depositing money at temples to wipe away my sins, I would build public toilets -- there is more punya (grace) there...
This stretch is off Santa Cruz, before the flyover, where the airport stretches. It seems to be beloved of early morning walkers. You can see housewives in groups, in their nighties, walking and gosspiping. Old men, young men, girls -- some even walking alone:) I love that. Today, opposite the huge gate, I saw a group of young kids, with their instructor, training for some sport. Oh, the other night, I even saw (when the flyover construction work was happening), a small group of young kids learning martial arts on the flyover. Btw. If I was a rich builder, that is another thing I will do for some solid punya -- build or create beautiful spaces for some real sports training.

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