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Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Back in Mumbai

And I was feeling good. Well. At least that’s what I felt when I heard the wheel of the plane rumbling down the runway. But the moment the door opened, I was greeted by the warm, polluted, smoky air. The airport smelt of phenol (ugh!) and the arrival lounge…..well…there is no arrival lounge to talk about. There were thousands of people standing behind the iron dividers, out on the street, all craning their necks to look for a familiar face, wiping their brow and kicking the sand under their feet. The Mumbai airport is under renovation for quite sometime now and there are unfinished constructions everywhere with small hills of sands and stones. The car was parked way too far and my nephew who came to the airport to receive me was quite frustrated and in a very bad humour. On my walk towards to the car park, I saw woman fall down on the debris of sand and stones, that were carelessly scattered every where on the road. Then there were some religious group people welcoming an Indian child star, who had returned with merit and made his family proud. they doted on him, welcoming him with the garlands of fresh flowers and an aarti. Further up, towards the car park, there were group of beggars requesting charity in foreign currency. That’s Mumbai for me. Are we cursed to be born in Mumbai? Why cannot we have cleanliness and comfort on Mumbai streets? Is it too much to ask for?

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