Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bombay Meri Jaan


Yesterday i was sitting at the sea face of carter road. I had my blackberry on my lap and my micromax mobile in my hand. I was lost in my thoughts enjoying the breeze seated on the lap of the sea over the rocks. That's when i spotted an insect stuck to my shirt, a little over my hip. As a reflex action, i stood up and pushed the insect off my shirt. I dropped my blackberry inside the rubbly rocks. The look on my face was a very “my world has drowned now”. The busy as ever walkway had many curious onlookers. An elderly heterosexual couple, migrants from Uttar Pradesh in North India, came up to me. The husband asked me “kyaa hua bhaiyya, koi maddat chahiye”. I explained what had happened. Quickly the wife sprung in action. She tied up her saree, held her husband’s hand, and jumped with him over the rocks. They had a torch mobile. They used the light to project on the rubbles to look for my mobile. Looking at them, an elderly heterosexual couple, from an affluent family, who were having their routine evening walk came up to me. The wife asked me “What is happening beta... can we help you”. I explained. And before i could finish, they flashed the light of their iPhone and started looking for my phone in the rubbles. Then came a young college boy and girl who were busy cootchie-cooing there. They sensed the tension in the air, gave their lips some rest, and joined the rest in the great mobile hunt. In less than 15 minutes, I had around 25 people over the rocks looking for my phone. There were hindus, muslims, Christians, Parsis and Sikhs. There were rich, poor and middle class. There were 12 year olds, 30 year olds, and 60 year olds. There were security guards, watchmen, managers and CEOs. All of them looking for a mobile phone of an absolute stranger just because the stranger was seemingly very upset. The great search went on for a couple of hours, we removed some stones, looked under rocks. One elderly man jumped in between the rocks while i kept shouting that my phone is not that important that he should risk his life. We did everything possible. We couldn’t find the phone. But i was beaming with joy. The phone is a thing, people are not things. i found something more precious. I found my lost city. I found my people. A city where strangers stop and help anyone who needs help regardless of caste, creed, religion, age or gender. I was given a hug by many, good wishes in many Indian languages. This is way too precious than a mobile phone. Blackberry contacts could be backed up and the phone could be locked up remotely. But where in my heart will i find the space to store this unique love and care that strangers in my city blessed me with. Long live Bombay (or whatever name you want to call it)

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