Saturday, January 08, 2011

Salam, Mumbai!

A horse carriage trots along the road, with velvet cushions and sparking lights.

Three kids, two girls and boy, trot along behind it. They exchange surreptitious glances and look around, hoping to make sure that no one else sees them.

The tourist horse carriage stops at the signal. The carriage driver, whose attention is focused on the signal ahead, probably hoping that the lights will change to green if he stares hard enough, does not notice the children seize the moment and sneak under the carriage.

The kids sit on the rods connecting the wheels and grab on for their free ride as a sly smile breaks onto all their grimy, unwashed faces. They know that they've dared and they're proud even though they know they don't fairly deserve it; but Life has dealt them a hard hand and they know that they have to do what they can with it. Maybe they've been told that or they've learnt it already, I don't know.  At any rate, they seem to know.

The biggest girl of the three, dressed in what is clearly a discarded piece of clothing that once belonged to someone who now owns better clothes, gets off the carriage to make sure the smaller boy is strapped on properly. Either due to the incessant starring on the carriage driver's part or the sufficient passage of time, the signal changes and the carriage begins to move before the girl has a chance to finish her sisterly duties. She decides against jumping on and instead, she holds the little boy in place and runs along side the carriage, laughing.

Mumbai, The City of Dreams!


Sam said...

i luv how u write.

Raveena said...

Thank you, Sam! :)

Jadis said...

damn! ever heard of sweet goosebumps? ;)
this post gave me exactly that! :)