Mumbai

If you wish to know love, you have only to cruise along the Queen’s Necklace in Mumbai. The city’s traffic stagnates the peoples otherwise bustling routine, leaving them with little choice but to observe life along the boardwalk. Adolescents huddle together as though desperately channeling reverse mitosis. A girl in slacks hugs a backpack to her chest trying not to cry, while beside her leans an animated boy with knitted brows and a hiccuping line of excuses.

Here is a pundit, dressed in orange robes and no shoes. His walk is slower, like the inertia of someone with a desire to move but with nowhere to go. Content, even and especially in that. The lights turn green but cars remain in farcical pursuit, this time entertained by two furtive glances. She is old, gracefully so; and he stands tall with all the dignity of an aged tree. They don’t hold hands, but touch pinkies instead; starkly contrasting the lip locked lovers but a few paces ahead.

And further down, two little girls, both with platted hair, sit with their backs to the city and their sights to the sea. They are quiet, noticeably so. The desire to join them ebbs at your insides; to share in the silence that pays tribute to the profound beauty before them. But then a gear is changed, an engine revved; and you know you must leave the children to their childhood.

As the traffic clears, you spill forward like loose beads on a spacious thread. A flickering thought; how quickly it all goes. Like the tide, what flows in abundance at your feet today, might tomorrow be something completely anew.

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