From the Vault: Thoughts on Living in Bombay 2
I am at Candie's waiting for D. There is cartoon gospel Christmas music on the telly, Grand Ole Opry style, overarched eyebrows and big bellies and bouffants. Obese, diabetes-ridden people singing praises to Jesus and God and angels and their interpretation of sweet existence -- how could I not love them? Their views may not be the same as mine, but they are only loving God and singing about it. It is no different than the Muslim who rolls out his mat at the train station to answer the call to prayer, or the Hindu who leaves offerings at the foot of Ganesha the elephant God, or the Buddhist monk chanting mantras at sunset, wrapped snugly in swaths of incense smoke. How could any of it be anything but stunning?
I love Bombay. I love it, I love it, I love it. I love her diversity and the masses of life she keeps within her arms. She allows everyone and everything inside her heart, and even if her children squabble, they will share the same train or the same sidewalk or the same loo eventually. There is no other way. I watch the Harry Potter-esque schoolboys in loafers and ties running amok in the streets, and they enthrall me.
I have always had a thing for kids in glasses; they end up being my favorites (whether they are super intelligent or miscreants -- or both rolled into one, à la Harry -- for some reason I love them all anyway). This morning, I scoffed at an obscene Rolls-Royce parked near a dwelling that was no more than a tarp tied between two trees.
And just now, I catch a glimpse of the girl behind the counter who speaks quietly but sings every word to "Joy to the World" with Paula Deen's twin on the TV screen. In this moment I understand -- really understand -- why I love this unusual, maddening, contradictory, entrepreneurial city: because everything is always so brand-new, and we all end up like children -- having our first tastes, our first smells, our first everything, until we fall helplessly into a constant state of wonder that instantly transports us to the breast of God.
And Heaven and Nature Sing.
Mumbai my love..!!! Unique in its diversity...!!!
You are an amazing salesperson/recruiter for Bombay. It is not surprising that the population of that amazing city is growing. We just might all be seeking to "fall helplessly into a constant state of wonder that instantly transports us to the breast of God." I know I am!
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