South Bombay: “A Trash Can”

by B. R. Gowani

Bhindi Bazaar, Musafir Khana, Dongri, Kalbadevi, and others …
mostly Muslim populated areas
are a sad sight
they are a world unto themselves, although being part of – Mumbai –
one of the overly romanticized cities …

many people sleep
on broken and dirty footpaths
with dead and live rats in close proximity
each fixed in the territory

honking of horns is continuous and atrocious
everybody is stressed out
no vehicle allows access to its neighbor,
whether another vehicle or human being,
child, woman, or elder
everyone races to reach first
wherever it may be

hawkers are everywhere

the city’s trash dumpster in Imambada
can kill you with its filthy odor
people suffer this every day …

city government is nowhere to be found
except sighted are the police
taking bribes from taxi drivers
who in turn harass ordinary people
by refusing to stop for them

many people suffering this plight find escape,
if one can say that, momentarily,
in the theater watching Bollywood films

B. R. Gowani can be reached at

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