Wednesday, 19 September 2012

A Land of Paradoxes - Part 2

A diamond in the rough.

In continuation to my previous post, I thought it would be a good idea to show the varying level of extreme contrasts that can be witnessed in the city in a new series titled 'A Land of Paradoxes'.

On a particularly warm and lazy Bombay afternoon a few days ago, I was standing in the balcony of a relative's place in a sort-of upper suburban part of the city, and I happened to notice a small cluster of ramshackle tarpaulin and corrugated tin roofs nestled between a clump of trees. Even though these are a common sight throughout Bombay, they are often more striking when seen against the backdrop of a concrete jungle. I stood and watched in fascination while people below navigated through the claustrophobic lanes and went about their daily business, perhaps completely oblivious to the happenings of the world around them. While a woman occupied herself with hanging her clothes to dry, a group of very young children played with stray pups, their squeals of laughter reaching all the way up to the 8th floor. Meanwhile, a man attempted to fix his makeshift roof with what looked like a large plastic sheet, placing heavy stones over it so  that it would withstand the wind and rain.

As I watched, I wondered that were it not for the apartment buildings standing like a giant wall in the backdrop, would these shacks and the surrounding foliage not seem like a small village somewhere on the outskirts of town? Somewhere far away from the daily grind of living in a big city and the struggle of trying to keep up in the rat-race (which can often be inferred literally in this city). A life of tranquility, living around nature and living off nature. No offices. no deadlines. No traffic. No pollution. A small village devoid of the age of materialism we live in, where communal harmony existed and you were free of all worldly desires. I was almost envious. These people were safe in their own little worlds, protected from the cancerous messages we receive for media outlets everyday in the form of viral advertisement and news. Safe from warmongering and religious fanaticism. Safe from the imminent threat of terrorism, or the fear of being laid off. Immune from the economic crunch and lastly, safe from 'social networks' which has irreversibly destroyed so many aspects of our lives. All they would have to do is just go to sleep and they would be free from it all. It's never too late, I thought, reflecting upon the words of a famous poet:

THE world is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;

Perhaps in a different time, I decided, as I reached for my phone to click a few photographs for this post.

It was only then that I noticed the TV satellite dishes on the roofs of all the little structures, and I wondered if it may already be too late after all...


  1. Those thing on the roofs are stones?

  2. They sure are. Something needs to hold the roofs down during the rainy season. :)