I had some words but I woke up and they were gone. I have some photographs but they’re missing an awful lot at the top and sides. I was walking the streets of Mumbai at night, let’s start there. No, I was driving the streets, my head hanging out the window like a dog, in awe of all the diamonds in the Queen’s Necklace. I step out of the cab and a child is tucking an infant into bed, on the pavement. That’s Mumbai. It takes you by the heart and slaps you in the face.
But it starts earlier, just walking. Just walking the streets, in the crowd, against the crowd. Just seeing, smelling, listening to music. In the bloodstream, just feeling the pulse. In the day the streets are thronged by vendors, the only constant in a sea of change. I came by at night and they were still there, asleep on top of the tables.
I ate a rather large thali at Sivala’s and tripped out into the office crowd. I’m walking directly against the grain, listening to MGMT’s Time To Pretend.
This is our decision, to live fast and die young.
We’ve got the vision, now let’s have some fun.
Yeah, it’s overwhelming, but what else can we do?
Get jobs in offices, and wake up for the morning commute?
They part gently, this shirt sleeved sea of people, heading into the church that is the CST. I’m walking the other way. I drop some stuff up, pick up some mixed sweets, get in a cab. I’m listening to the Clash, Train In Vain.
I thought I was in downtown, but there are other downtowns. In the day they’re shrouded in… fog? At night it’s just light. As you drive along Marine Drive they appear in the distance, become immediate, then a new one appears. I end up somewhere, in a flat surrounded by charming and robustly inebriated Indian men. I’ve been trying this Old Monk because it’s Indian but it’s a goddam syrup of the devil and I can’t do it anymore. I switch to scotch. As someone is trying to translate a lewd joke for me, I lean in and drop the glass. I feel terrible. Everyone is so nice.
I laugh at all the jokes. I don’t understand Hindi at all but the delivery is just hilarious, the laughter so real. I learnt a few words. Lund is dick and choot is the other one. Not the most useful information.
I’m back on the street, at night. It’s safe, there are people, couples, families, women. I’ve missed this. The intimacy of a city at night. When there’s no traffic, no light, few sounds. I used to walk Montreal at night, absolutely in love. I get the cabbie to drop me at Chowpatty Beach and walk back from there.
A lot of other vague metaphysical and life changing stuff happened but I’m tired of writing this and I’m going out. Bye.