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Archive for May, 2005

21-May-2005

May 21st, 2005

20 th May 2005

 

This evening, I am at Marine Drive again. I decide to walk around a bit before settling down in one place. From opposite Pizzeria onwards, there is quite a crowd on the wall of the promenade. Families are there, sitting on the sea wall and enjoying the space.

 

I walk ahead. I come towards Marine Plaza opposite which, on the promenade, is a conglomeration of pigeons. People put grains here to feed the pigeons. This evening, a little boy is playing in between with the pigeons. This is a little child who is running about here and there, playing with the pigeons. There are times when he runs towards the sea wall. There are times he goes back to his pigeon friends. Then, as curious little children do, he tries to feel the ground and everything that’s on it. And as mothers do, his mother comes and gets him to take his hands off the ground, ‘Sheesh, it’s dirty,” she says. A while later, another little child comes with his parents and plays with the pigeons. There appears to be an interesting relationship between children and pigeons. Most people I have spoken to recall their first memories of the promenade as that of feeding the birds. Sea – birds – children – perhaps that’s one of the elements which adds to the buzz of this city!

 

Watching children take their first little steps on the promenade is a highly satisfying experience. It gets me to think about the relationship that exists between children and the city and one more aspect of freedom that prevails in the city!

 

A while later, Santosh Yadav comes by. As usual, I purchase chana zor garam from him. “This is very popular with ladies people,” he tells me. “When school and college are on, my stuff gets sold even before I hit the promenade. In parties, women love eating this,” he adds. He begins to explain his business to me and its economics. Last evening, I was with a male friend at the promenade and I could sense Yadavji’s curiousity about my friend. This evening, while dishing out chana zor garam to me, he asks, “Who was that boy with you yesterday?” I reply to him coolly, “He was a colleague at work.” I realize that certain relationships develop in certain ways. Can’t say much about this today … “This must be the peak business time for you?” I inquire with him. “Yes,” he says, “but more business takes place around the Air India building side of the promenade. There are lots of office-goers who sit there. And they are regular customers,” he informs me. “By the way, on some days, you must not give me money for the chana zor garam . Just take it like that only,” he tells me. I promise him that today he must take the money and from next time, I won’t pay him, thus evading the situation for today!

 

I find it interesting how on a single promenade, spaces come to acquire their character with different groups of people occupying them regularly over a period of time. The Air India Building side promenade now has the character of office-goers who sit there. The Pizzeria side of the promenade has young couples, middle-aged couples, couples from colleges and families. From beyond Oberoi Towers (now Hilton Hotel), the promenade is largely occupied, intermittently, by couples and families. It then makes me wonder whether spaces are consciously designed keeping in mind potential groups of occupiers? Maybe not! I guess spaces simply acquire their character only after they have been built – it’s perhaps a complex relationship between built environment and human behaviour!

xanga

20-May-2005

May 20th, 2005

19 th May 2005

 

Today, after nearly a fortnight, I went to Marine Drive . For some days, I had been feeling too overwhelmed visiting the place everyday and recording observations. Visiting the place after a gap made me feel much better.

 

Perception of Crowds: On landing at the promenade, the first feeling, tactile and sensory, I had was that of crowdedness. Since sometime now, I have been feeling that Marine Drive is becoming quite crowded. In the past, there had hardly been experiences of shifting to make place for families to sit. Since last few visits, I find that I have to shift in order making seating space for groups and families to sit. It is a discomforting feeling personally. I always there was enough space for everyone.

After a while, the crowds had reduced. And I felt the reduction in crowds. Again, there was a ‘feeling’ of reduction of crowds and not an actual head count. I am beginning to question whether the very perception of crowdedness is a tactile and sensory one. Hmmm …

 

The Police: Interestingly, throughout the time I was on the promenade, I noticed cops at various distances. It was not a comfortable feeling. Again, I almost felt like rebuking the cops and asking them to get up from the ledge and patrol. It almost felt like I was a citizen, with greater entitlements and here was a cop, a public servant, with fewer entitlements and more duties to discharge.

 

Bahurupis : The hawkers were at the promenade as usual. I was sitting opposite Pizzeria. A hawker selling peanuts started walking by. The family sitting next to me asked the hawker to pack peanuts for them. Suddenly, the hawker took off his basket of peanuts from his neck, placed it on the sea wall carefully and sat with the basket behind himself. In that instant of an action, he had turned into yet another person who was here to enjoy the sea and the breeze. What a transformation, I said to myself. A little while later, I noticed to municipality trucks pass by and move towards Churchgate. The hawker mentioned how he was trying to protect his goods from being confiscated by this act. I think about precarity and how certain spaces have become precarious for some kinds of publics.

 

Visitors: Sitting next to me today was a family consisting of two men, one woman and two children. Holiday time means visiting the sea, visiting Marine Drive with the family. One of the men made the woman, the children and the other man sit on the wall. They spoke about Marine Drive as a space. “See these tetrapods,” the man started to say, “They are new. They have been put here because all this is reclaimed land and is therefore weak. Moreover, if a tsunami was to happen in Bombay , the buildings in this area can get wiped out. The tetrapods will have a preventive effect – they will prevent the wall from being destroyed in the eye of the storm.” Discussions on the tetrapods are rampant everytime I have been to the promenade. The man continued telling his family members, “Morning is the best time to be here. You can walk and jog. Smooth …”

Listening to the man, the question which arose in my mind is whether public space is at all dependent on locality? In the case of Marine Drive , can I clearly construct who is an outsider and who is an insider? Are there spaces in cities across the world like Marine Drive which blur the distinctions of insider-outsider? Do public spaces deepen notions of citizenship? Is citizenship the same as a sense of belonging to a space? Who has a greater say in a public space like Marine Drive – a resident of the area, or the people of the city, all of who have a stake in the space?

 

Modernity and Aspiring People: I met Santosh Yadav today. He inquired about my absence. “I thought you must be gone,” he said to me. I explained my illness and therefore my inability to be on the promenade to him. I was watching him conduct business today. Dressed in a yuppie t-shirt and three-quarter loose jeans, Santosh Yadav was a surreal sight. I have been wondering about what hawkers think of their professional identity. And I have been wondering about clothes, urbanity, aspirations to be ‘urban’ and ‘city-dwellers’. I wonder whether Santosh Yadav harbours aspirations of being ‘urban’. How different would his aspirations be from those of other aspirants who come to the city?

I met Mr. Thakkar briefly today. He was jogging and deeply engaged in conversation with another jogger. I handed over a CD of his audio interview to him. He was thrilled – “Really! Is this for me?” he asked, beaming with excitement. Watching his emotions, I remembered how many times he has alluded to the fact that he is illiterate. Yet, he has a fascination for modern gadgets and equipments. I thought the CD that I handed over to him today was an object of modernity for him. There was something magical about the CD for him. Does he think he is urban enough? What does urbanity mean to him?

 

Place-making and Community: This evening, at Marine Drive , I began to reflect on my own self and my relationship with the promenade. The space is part of my everyday life too – as a researcher. There are people I know here, people I meet every time I am here. People see me here. I am recognized and visible. I am seen and noticed. And maybe I am marked too … Is marking then a practice of spaces in cities?

xanga

14-May-2005

May 14th, 2005

11 th May 2005

 

This evening, I went to Jazz By The Bay at Churchgate/Marine Drive . It is after a very long time that I have stepped inside a pub. I don’t like pubs. I feel self-conscious, as if pressured to behave in particular ways. I feel like a little girl who wants to run for cover and hide behind the curtains so that no can see her. Yeah, I feel very watched in the space of a pub, unlike my interactions in vast open spaces where I am very much myself! Maybe private spaces have something about anonymity which is different from the anonymity which operates in public spaces. I wonder how the eye and the mind operate in private spaces as against in public spaces.

 

The atmosphere in the pub was dark. There were neon lights and loud music. Lots of perfume ordours. Women with blonde and dyed hair. Sometimes a sense of claustrophobia would dawn over me until I decided to watch. These days I have been thinking about passions and desires. And sitting in Jazz By The Bay tonight, I realize that atmospheres can be created to arouse passions and desires – the darkness in the pub, carefully chosen lighting, enough alcohol, etc. Words from Paulo Coelho’s book, ‘The Alchemist’ strike me. The shepherd boy asks a stranger he meets in the desert when the stranger offers him a cup of wine, “Isn’t the intake of alcohol bad?” And the stranger replies, “It is not what goes inside you, but what comes out is important.”

 

I think about spaces like pubs in the city, where darkness and the loud noise perhaps help us say and do things which we may otherwise be too scared to say or do. Like Raben says, a city is a space of conditions and it is to the surfaces that people wear that we must pay attention to …

 

(Don’t know what I am writing today …)

xanga

10-May-2005

May 10th, 2005

8 th May 2005

 

Joggers’ Park

 

He wears white – white T-Shirt and white shorts. He walks very fast. Curt says he is funny. I think he is straightforward and also suspecting.

 

I: “I am doing this research on Marine Drive and I want to interview you. I am from Sarai …”

He: “Hey, hey! I don’t understand English. You take down my phone number and call me. My name is Thakkar.”

 

Over the phone,

I: “Hello. I had met you at the promenade and I …”

Thakkar: “Hey, hey. I had already said to you. I am illiterate, I don’t understand English and if you cannot understand/speak Hindi, then we have a communication problem.”

I: “Sorry, sorry,” apologizing for my automatic English brain and thought processes.

 

This was about three weeks ago. Mr. Thakkar and me kept bumping into each other every time at the promenade. “So, what are you? Khoja or Bohra?” he had asked me, inquiring into my ‘caste’. There are times when I have felt the tension between him and me in terms of our religious affiliations and identities. Yet, I like him and I guess he likes me too. “There are very few true people on this earth. In today’s times, it is difficult to find true friends,” he tells me. “90% people are out to befriend you for your money. Only about 10% are true,” he tells me.

 

Mr. Thakkar has been jogging at the Marine Drive promenade since fifteen years now, everyday, from Monday to Saturday. And he has a schedule – by 8 PM, he ‘backs’ and is most likely to meet at Oberoi Hotel (which is now Hilton Towers). I am trying to understand what the promenade means to him and how he sees it in the scheme of his everyday life. Maybe it don’t matter to him at all and I am trying to read more than what is obvious. When I ask him this question, he says, “It is part of my everyday life. The other day, I was in the taxi and we were passing by the promenade. I was telling the taxi driver, ‘Isn’t this a lovely place?’ and the taxi driver said to me, ‘this is the best place in Mumbai’.” And as Mr. Thakkar utters the word ‘best’, I sense the pride and ownership he says towards this place. Yes, perhaps the promenade is a ‘place’ for him, a kind of home, but I am still to investigate into this.

 

This evening, we meet each other at the promenade. It is Sunday and he does not jog on Sundays. “Oh, very crowded today. Where do we sit? Haan, come, here. ‘Your’ people are vacating place for us,” he laughs and says. By “your’ people, he is pointing out to a large family of Bohra Muslims who are clearing out of the promenade. I think it is really tough to break beyond prejudice and interact as individuals in relationships. Each moment, in a relationship, there is either a power relation, or an interaction through images – at least initially and also at various points in time as the relationship grows.

 

“How come you decided to jog here instead of going to the Oval Maidan which is also close by?” I asked him. He points out to the lines on his forehead and says, “Destiny. It is all about destiny. Destiny brings you to the place where you are supposed to be. Don’t you agree?” I nod. He continues, “Besides, there is the sea here. Sea is nature. It is purity. You feel peace in your heart when you are here – shaanti hoti hai ,” he says, pointing out to the several people who are sitting here today, facing the sea. “People are not just looking out towards the horizon. They are connecting with themselves deep inside,” Mr. Thakkar tells me.

 

A look at him and you may assume that he is a resident of Marine Drive area. I ask him why he thinks that people assume him to be a resident of this place. “I don’t know. Maybe they see me here everyday that is why they imagine that I live here. Everybody says ‘hello’ and ‘hi’ to me initially but when I tell them that I live at Kalbadevi, they stop talking with me,” he says laughing aloud. “I live in a little jhopada in Kalbadevi. I walk from there everyday and come here. I don’t even have a cycle,” he says me. And with these words, I know this is coming from an astute Gujarati businessman who attempts to give you the impression of a life of simplicity and scarcity behind the garb of his hard earned wealth over the years. Perhaps then, some behaviours and attitudes are predictable about some communities …

 

“How does the process of interaction with fellow joggers evolve?” I ask him “By and by. You see each other everyday and you smile. After the initial smiling phase, I do salaam to some people. I don’t discriminate between people. Each one is a human being. No one is high or low. To tell you one incident, there was a very rich man who used to come and jog here. I used to smile at him and do salaam to him everyday. But he would not respond. After some days, I stopped. Then he started feeling bad. And after a while, he of his own started to raise his hand a little as a greeting to me. I have been coming here since fifteen years. You know, the great J.R.D. Tata. His car used to halt by the Air India building everyday. He was a mota manas (big man). That is why, he used to travel in his Mercedes and at the signal, his car would always halt by the left. And he used to do salaam to me. Even the biggest and the smallest man here says hello me. Because I am that kind of person.” Perhaps he is. He has his own networks of influence and I wonder whether some of these have emerged from his interactions and networks with fellow joggers at Marine Drive.

 

I asked him, “Did you used to come to the promenade before you began jogging?” “Yes, of course. In those days, I used to come here, where Cuffe Parade is now. I used to come here to hide and smoke cigarettes. You must be aware that in those days, to smoke was a big thing. Family should not know. So, I used to come here and smoke, hidingly.” “And did you see the reclamation come up before your eyes?” I asked him. “What is reclamation?” he asks me. “Oh, I mean these buildings which came up here?” “Yes, yes. Of course! I saw all these buildings come up here. Before the buildings came up, this place was an open-air theater. Everyday there used to be film shows here. In those days, there was no TV. So we used to come here and watch the films. It was nice then.”

 

“You know, Gandhiji also has come here to the promenade. That is why this place is pure and blessed. Such a big man had come here,” Thakkar tells me when I ask him what the space means to him. “But why are you talking with me and doing this re-cher-ch? How many people have you re-cher-ched? Are you from the government? Are you from some secret agency? You know sometimes these agencies send women to do interviews. Please explain to me what you are doing.” I explain what I am doing and I promise to give him a Sarai Broadsheet since his daughter will be able to read it and understand. “I have always felt that you are from the government. How many government agencies are there? There is CBI, there is CID and one more … which one? … … Haan, RAW? What is RAW?” I am smiling in my own mind, trying to understand his suspicions and fears.

 

We start walking back. “You know, many people on this planet are not happy. We must live for others. One evening, I was waiting for some of my friends to join me at the promenade. I sat down on the wall, right opposite NCPA apartments. Now, I thought, let me just sleep here for a while. If I sleep opposite this building, I will feel that it is equivalent to sleeping inside the building. There was an ex-military officer sitting with his wife on the promenade. This man is in charge of the security of the building. We started chatting with each other. He told me, ‘You know, half the people living inside this building are not happy!’ You tell me, how much is each flat in the building worth?” I think hard and say, “One crore?” “Hutt,” he chides me. “Each flat in this building is between three to four thousand square feet. One square foot costs twenty five thousand rupees. Now calculate.” My mouth opens wide as I am trying to put all the zeroes together. “Seven to ten crores for each house!” “Hmmm,” he says smilingly.

 

We walk together for a while. I am not sure whether his suspicions about me are cleared. And his prejudices … how much should they affect me? We talk about religion, life in Bombay and he promises me that he will take me to one of the best places in Bombay where ice-creams are served. “That’s a promise. I am very happy to meet with you,” he says. I join my hands in respect for him. “No, no! just shake hands.” Now, haven’t I heard that before … from Arjun bhai??? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahha!!!!!

xanga

9-May-2005

May 9th, 2005

8 th May 2005

 

This evening, I have my earphones in my ears and I am listening to the radio while walking on the promenade. Elton John is singing ‘Candle in the Wind’ and out there, on the promenade, Shah Rukh is shouting, “ paani bottle, paani!” Now, I think this is surreal!

 

The promenade is crowded. When I was crossing the signal from Pizzeria, two men and one woman were with me, waiting to cross the road. The woman, on her first look at the promenade, said to the men, “Very crowded.” I am wondering whether the perception of crowd is the first perception that occurs in our mind when we are to engage with / enter a space. Maybe! At least that is my first reaction when I am to enter the local train of Mumbai or a BEST bus, both of which are public spaces.

 

Many people are on the promenade – many with their families. I have managed to get a seat on the wall. A few moments later, a Marwari family comes and sits next to me. The patriarch of the family precariously climbs the promenade wall. He is trying to hold his middle-aged wife and bring her onto the promenade. I can almost feel the affection and possession that he is feeling for his wife. He is trying to hold her by her waist, but she is refraining. Her son and daughter-in-law are there with as also her sister-in-law and her daughter. Her son and the son’s wife appear to have a functional relation between themselves.

The man gets on the sea wall, but he is too afraid of the sea. Father and son start to discuss Marine Drive and its history. They speak of the reclamation, the NCPA apartments, the Queen’s Necklace. The sister-in-law asks the patriarch, “Will the Queen’s Necklace ever be complete?” The patriarch is optimistic. He believes that when the promenade is re-done, the necklace will be made complete. I am thinking about people’s aspirations concerning spaces, people who are not residents of the public space, but are ‘outsiders’. How do we define ‘outsiders’? Simply by virtue of whether they are residents of the locality or not? Is locality is a precondition for developing the sense of ownership and belongingness with a space? I wonder …

xanga

9-May-2005

May 9th, 2005

8 th May 2005

 

I am sitting in the public bus, passing by Bhendi Bazaar, on my way to Nariman Point. I am mulling over the responses I wrote to Anup yesterday and my own thoughts on freedom. I realize that I am a proponent of freedom. Yet, I believe that while individuality is important, it is equally important to be able to be part of groups and to work with groups. As I look out of the two-bar windows of the BEST bus, I think that ownership and a sense of belongingness with one’s environment is most critical in order to be able to engage and work with it! Without that passion and belief and ownership, we can always continue to live our lives in our habitats without even noticing it and caring for it!

 

xanga

8-May-2005

May 8th, 2005

8 th May 2005

 

This afternoon I spoke with Mr. Thakkar, asking him for an appointment to interview him of his experiences of space and jogging at the Marine Drive promenade. Mr. Thakkar and I have become pals now. We joke and laugh.

 

I am thinking about trust right now and how strangers interact and meet each other in a city. I know Mr. Thakkar for some weeks now and we interact with each other through a certain modicum of trust. Would that trust exist between Mr. Thakkar and say Santosh Yadavji? I don’t know.

 

About two weeks ago, when I was walking on the promenade, I encountered a young girl walking with two school-going age boys. We happened to be walking next to each other and I was amused by the commentary of the two boys. The girl and I smiled to each other. Taking on from the smile, almost encouraged, I began to ask her about how long she has been on the promenade and whether she is a resident of the area. She felt I was a journalist. Later on, I realized that naively, I was asking her questions which would have appeared as probing her privacy. While talking to her, I gave her my card and assured her that I was only a researcher and not a journalist. However, it was difficult for her to trust me. At that point, not recognizing her emotions, I had felt upset.

 

Today, after talking with Mr. Thakkar, I realized that trust and relationships are slow to build. I don’t know how Santosh Yadav, Arjun bhai, Shah Rukh, Manoj Kumar, Sushanti, Suparna, Zubair, etc. trust and talk with me. Is trust a function of socio-economic class? I wonder …

 

I also think of our own built environment and the way we lead our lives. Doors are closed in our homes. Windows are no longer peeked through. We have intercoms in our homes and can communicate with our neighbours through these instead of interacting face to face. Perhaps there are enough devices and means through which we can avoid face-to-face interactions. Residents of Marine Drive tell me that they themselves frequent the promenade rarely because now there are enough distractions at home – TV, Computer, parties, etc.

 

I wonder what is the value of spaces like Marine Drive promenade in the city. What kind of meeting spaces exist in the city? Has Bombay been a city of trust? If yes, why is trust becoming scarce now? Can we trust strangers?

 

 

xanga

8-May-2005

May 8th, 2005

7 th May 2005

 

Last week, I was traveling with S to the BMC. S and me work together in an organization which aims at promoting transparency and accountability in governance. We were discussing e-governance and how it can impact people. As conversations steered, I spoke to S about whether e-governance tools can invariably used against the poor and to target specific groups. S started talking about hawkers, “You know Zainab most of the hawkers in the city are not from Maharashtra. They have a strong corruption and power network with the Corporation and the officers.” S continued talking about hawkers and how they take over public spaces and are free riders.

 

Yesterday, while sitting in one of the BMC offices, I was talking with the BMC officer about how the water supply systems in Bombay are the best given the regularity as against what prevails in other cities. He spoke about how at one time slum dwellers were given free water but were later charged for it. “Everyone from outside likes to come to this city because everything is good here and people can easily set up businesses and get work here.” He said all of this with earnestness and sincerity.

 

I am trying to understand how these notions of insider-outsider work. Have they always been there? Do everyday notions of insider-outsider refer to instincts and notions of territoriality? Again, are notions of property and territoriality the same?

 

xanga

8-May-2005

May 8th, 2005

7 th May 2005

 

Yesterday I crossed the road in between the signals. For a long patch, I walked by the side of the road which was full of excreta and urine. As I walked along, I wondered how some patches of the streets and roads become spaces for urination and excretion. And then, with time, these spaces become associated with dirt and contempt. Just wondering …

 

Right now, curious to do a historical study of excreta and how things have come to be the way they are now. Someday I shall venture into studying toilets and bathrooms as spaces in people’s lives … Wow!

xanga

7-May-2005

May 7th, 2005

6 th May 2005

 

I crossed the road from Pizzeria and landed on the Marine Drive promenade. Upon landing there, the first person I noticed was Santosh Yadavji. “What about your job? I thought you had gone there forever,” I said gleaming with joy. “No, I did not like it there,” Yadavji started saying, “ Bombay is not a city to do jobs. I like the work that I do.” Yadavji has now switched to selling chana zor garam and has handed over the previous business to his cousin. I was really happy to see him back and almost skipped and hopped my way to NCPA where I was to attend a talk on documenting the city.

 

I landed at the NCPA’s AV room. Jerry Pinto and Chirodeep were to speak on Chirodeep’s photo documentation of the city. Sitting there, I began to wonder what documenting the city actually means and whether documenting the city is the same as saying ‘branding a place’??? I believe to each, the city is a personal experience and each documents the city in his/her own way – consciously and unconsciously. Yet, is there an importance to formal processes of documentation? If yes, what is the importance?

 

The AV room had a kind of audience, a kind of public. My mind wandered to the promenade, thinking about the public there, outside, and the public here, inside. The presentation was interesting as I watched the pictures Chiro had taken to express his relationship and understanding with the city. Some of the photos of the promenade were lovely. I am confirming my belief that the sea in Mumbai plays a critical role in enabling us to maintain our sanity – our emotions and relationships! Sea and romance, sea and parenting – these are the various aspects of our life where the water bodies play a crucial role.

 

After the talk, I ran out towards the promenade and a completely wonderful sense of joy and mirth overtook me. I was walking and as usual, I came across Mr. Thakkar. Mr. Thakkar is a jogger at the promenade. He has been a regular at the promenade since fifteen years. Perhaps when you look at him, you are most likely, just like me, to mark him as a resident of Marine Drive . But he is not. Mr. Thakkar don’t understand English. He and I chat in Gujarati. Every time I converse with him, I try to tune my brain towards thinking and expressing in a different language. Mr. Thakkar and I have now known each other since three weeks. “You look very happy today,” he said to me. “I am always happy,” I responded. “Yeah, that’s right. You are always happy. That’s a gift to have. You have been researching on this promenade for sometime now, you must know why you are always happy and why people around, inspite of having cars worth fifty lakh rupees, are not happy. Tell me,” he started saying to me. “I meet wonderful people like yourself everyday and hence I am happy each day,” I responded. “People like me?” he asked. “Yes. And even if a person is good or bad, who am I to judge him or her? If I can accept and move on, then that’s fine!” I concluded.

 

Mr. Thakkar and I kept walking. I think he likes to talk with me. After a point, he took leave and began jogging. He is a simple and unpretentious man. And very straightforward too. And he is also funny!

 

I walked ahead and saw Shah Rukh. Suddenly I felt like drinking the “toffee coffee” he sells. Now, the taste of the coffee which Shah Rukh sells is like the candy Coffee Bite. Shah Rukh had cropped his hair. “I have even bought new sandals,” he said to me when I inquired about his hair cut. We spoke a little and he went ahead.

 

I sat on the wall and began sipping coffee. Fireworks were going on in the distance. And I started thinking about joy and happiness. Back in the AV Room of the NCPA, I sensed pretense and the tension to put on surfaces, all for existence. Are we afraid of our selves – of our true selves? Are we afraid of revealing our true selves? What is research about? Invariably, I am dabbling into questions of life as I research the city. And today, while sitting on the ledge, I realized that I am not researching the city – I am only reconnecting with myself and understanding the habitat from which I draw my survival. As I encounter people who have no time for pretense and who are simple themselves, I am getting transformed into a transparent being. The joy in me comes from the relationships which I have outside and from the simplicity of each of these relationships!

 

As the firecrackers cackled outside, in the sky above, I drew serenity and happiness from the silent waters of the sea. Each moment is then as temporary as the wave which then dies down as it lashes against the tetrapods (replaced by the lovely rocks in the sea)! And that is what existence is about …

 

(This blog post dedicated to Naresh Fernandes! Thanks for the invite yesterday!)

xanga