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September 11th, 2006

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10:53 am - Bombay
Thursday, September 30, 2004

Bombay is an amalgamated mass of all the seven sins…at least that’s what its geographical history says. The phenomenon of the seven islands forming this enigmatic yet charismatic land, is often mistaken as a coincidence. Well it IS coincident that an atom of Oxygen and another of Hydrogen can form the alcohol(OH) group. But then, do we term Scotch Whiskey coincident too?

The blood-curling wails of the highly affluent, intermingled with the rampant and sundry celebrations of the eternally poor are superceded only by the placid calmness of the over-populated middle class. Bombay, with its glorified set of idiosyncranies, is perhaps the only city in India where the sexual vivacity is evident in all the three sexes, interchangeably. It is so self-absorbed in leading its fast paced exisitence that the millions of overlapping festivals of the holistic populace can be interrupted, only briefly by the misdemeanors of the dark and ruthless underworld.

The dawn of a fog-wrapped, dew-sprinkled, monsoon morning, smelling of the polluted, wet sand embellished only by the scaringly identical tea-stalls and soft murmurs of a waking populace, is one of the many things that only a true Bombayite can fall in love with everyday of his life. Of course, this is well-balanced by a lava of hatred that flows from him due to the following of an extermely hot, humid and/or wet day which habitually gives the meterologists a run for their money.

But lo and behold, life is waking up and according to its routine, should start adapting. There are two kinds of species on this planet(city is just a misnomer) : the one which works very hard to become successful : the pragmatists, and the other, which puts in an equal amount of dedication doing absolutely nothing: the nihilists. The funny thing is, both live similar lifestyles and are blind followers of the principles of hedonism.

It is said that there is a thin line of demarcation between the good thing and the bad, the right deeds and the wrong. In Bombay, there runs another one at right angles(pun unintended) which has disolved the purgatory and divided the individual's thought process into the condescending “I want to exist” and the irresistible “I want to live”. Death, here, is not an option, just a distraction for the sake of brevity.

Bombay is an addiction like none other. It is a nightmare one wants to dream every night; a self-consuming contradiction that is absolute. Its the perfect blend of the disillusionment of hope and faith, the strength of perseverance and determination, the balance of possibilities and failiure, the mirage of humanity and patriotism, the greatness of intelligentsia and affluence,the comedy of fradulence and the tragedy of survival.A city so confident of its identity crisis that it bequeaths an individuality to one and all.

In an attempting to describe this beloved city of mine , I experienced the same frustrations that I experienced when trying to imagine infinity and failing invariably to so.

So Die and experience Heaven, don't waste your time reading about it?

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