Thursday, March 28, 2013

The {blunt} Bombay

Why I choose to write about this sketch is not just because of the unending spread of the biggest washing machine in Mumbai, but the people who hover around or rather live in this place. As you would walk down from a narrow staircase from the Mahalakshmi station you will see the Dhobis carrying huge stack of clothes and running swiftly up and down the way. There will be many curious eyes clicking photographs, mostly the tourists. I followed a tourist through the narrowest lanes of Dhobi Ghat and by the end got lost in the smoky rooms inside. There are the Dhobis washing clothes religiously and you would wonder how they organize their work.
The cramped up washing machine of Mumbai

I went back to the narrow staircase which gives the best view of this place. I took out my sketchbook and got engrossed in it. Several people abused me directly for blocking their way but then they peeped into my book and smiled. Most of these people were returning back home after the day’s work and I wouldn't blame them for complaining. Soon, a large group gathered behind and blocked the entire stairway. To add to the commotion, a policeman came to see what had happened. He managed his way through the mob and before he could shout at me, he saw the sketch. Instantly he exclaimed, “Let him sketch! At least he isn't taking photographs. Let him stand here for as much time as he wants to!” Two little boys from the locality added, “Our little brother sketches better than him!”  They then insisted on seeing all the sketches and finally gave me a high five!

Very often one gets to experience the upfront nature of Mumbai but it doesn't hurt you. It infact makes you smile at yourself and that reflects in what you do, in my case my sketches!

Have a 'good' 'Good-Friday'

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The {Bawa} who shines

Everyday on my way to the Mahim station, I cross the little Parsi community that resides in the Mahim Parsi Colony. The frilly curtains and small yellow bulbs make me peep inside their windows and see their happy life. I find Parsi people extremely lively and charismatic. The women are graceful and warm and men ambiguous. I like that ambiguity and perhaps that’s what makes them so appealing. With so many things around us changing, the Parsis are one community that have preserved their way of dressing and style. It’s remarkable.

Yesterday as I was staring at these frilly curtains, a old Bawa peeped out from his grilled window and gave me a wide smile. The morning sunlight highlighted his white scarf and definitely my day. He was so beautiful, where do we get to see smiles anymore?

If you are in search of smiles and joy then you need a Bawa in your life.


Friday, March 15, 2013

The {dotted} line

I have always believed that if you love Mumbai, Mumbai will love you back. If you hate it, it will still love you. For me Mumbai is not just a place it’s a person, very flamboyant, bold but shy. And what makes it the way it is for me? The dotted line that connects you to this alluring place. For me this dotted line is the zillions of dreamers and charmers- the people of Mumbai.

One such man is Chachaji; he stands outside Lower Parel station and makes bhel in a blink of your eyes. His eyes are intriguing and his khaki shirt has a stitched pocket in which he keeps his money. The stitches are very prominent. Whether its early morning or late evening, Chachaji is always there relentlessly making bhel. He told me that he goes home by the last local train at 1.46 am.
bhelwale chacha jo 1.40 ki last local se ghar jate hai!
This dotted line extends every time I meet people in Mumbai, and like the place the people too are flamboyant, at times warm but on their toes all the time.

 More later, very soon. Have a flamboyant weekend!