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November 9th, 2005

(Yesterday) I was in the bus, traveling on the JJ flyover to Churchgate. There was traffic on the flyover. The bus was moving very slowly. From atop, I noticed the streets of Dongri and Minara Masjid, almost those streets which I used to walk through at the nights on Saturdays with the groups for Urban Buffet. Again it struck me that the pace of life in these localities is different from the rest of the city. People here have their own ways of living and being. To us, these ways may appear exotic and acquire the flavour of culture, something to see and admire.

I remember my own childhood in Dongri when kite flying was a pleasure. Today, watching the children play, watching people walk on the street, a sense of fear ran down my spine – what makes these areas ‘communally sensitive’? It struck me that if a riot were to happen here again, what would happen to this area? Will it be destroyed? Maybe the fear was of destruction of my home – a space which was once upon a time my home.

Maybe if riots were to happen again in Mumbai, this time they would be economic and a reaction to controls of the state.




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