November 01, 2007

October Heat


Off Matunga Road station on the Western Line, certain Mumbai pockets live on in relatively quiet lanes. Occasionally on rounding a bend in a lane buildings and houses with a distinctly early 1900s look grace the sidewalk, typically tracing their origins to the 1930s, 1940s, and the 1950s. It is not uncommon to find the year it went up prominently displayed over the entrance. I look out for them when passing by.

Returning by one such lane, I leisurely traced my feet on a sidewalk. It was to escape the heat of the midday Sun that I took to the sidewalk, walking under the shade of trees lining the path. Just as I moved aside to avoid stepping on a middle-aged man taking a nap on a plastic straw mat laid out on the footpath my eyes caught a headline in a page of a newspaper he had placed under his elbow that was jutting out of the mat and onto the pavement.

I didn’t stop to read it lest I stir him awake. I muttered ‘How Apt!’ before continuing on my way.

Later in the evening the skies rumbled before raining! Somebody up there must have read it and thought it appropriate to welcome November.

Welcome, November!

To read the headline, click the image to open it enlarged.

15 comments:

backpakker said...

i have a home in one of those lanes, where I used to stay for many many years ..though a PG, my landlady is like another mother Ive never felt so belonged, attached in my life ..i still live there every time I go to Mumbai

IdeaSmith said...

Good post. You ought to write for Mumbai metroblogging.

bluemountainmama said...

how apt, indeed! are newspapers in india usually written in english?

here in the states, we've finally made the transition from a hot indian summer to our first frosts....

Anil P said...

Backpakker: Some of those places carry the essence of Bombay the way it was meant to be, not that one can be sure that that was indeed the way Bombay was meant to be, but I think most would agree to that more so seeing the way the city is going in many respects.

Ideasmith: Thanks. Tell me how :)

Bluemountainmama: Many are, just as many are in respective local languages though I suspect that a bilingual reporter or editor might be tempted to translate English into the vernacular to publish in their paper, and vice versa, drawing from 'one another' to fill newsprint.

Quite often I see that happen in Mumbai between 'Marathi' and 'English' newspaper content.

Shantanu said...

One of those 'typical India' sights. I can imagine the rush and the pedestrians all around as he blissfully steals a few winks.

anish said...

You had the presence of mind to capture his photo while passing by! :)
You are a sachha street photographer. Cheers!

backpakker said...

Therin lies the contradiction - but Bombay is what it is..a spirit be it whether you are in Lokhandwala or in lalbagh..

Eye For India said...

When I used to work at a place in mahim some years back, I used to get off at matunga every morning, breakfast at some idli place near the station and slowly walk towards Mahim but not before exploring some of these beautiful lanes.

dharmabum said...

amazing how things catch your eye. and then other things follow. its seems like a coincidence, only, i am quite sure it is far from that :)

have written a little story, and i think u'l like it cheta :)

drips of paint said...

almost mistaken and read the wrong headline ...

we are getting cold as well in Los Angeles .. but where you are do not get really cold I guess.

chiefbiscuit said...

I wondered which headline? But I guess it's the one about the heat! :)
Great capture.

Aparna Kar said...

Awesome pic AP. 3000 years of revering knowledge. I love India and I hate her too.

Anil P said...

Shantanu: True :)

Anish: Thanks. Streets hold promises, sometimes they also help you 'sleep' on them!

Backpakker: Agreed :)

Eye for India: There's something steady in those lanes for sure.

Dharmabum: I'll leave that to you to guess :) Sure, will check the post. Thanks.

Drips of Paint: No it doesn't get as cold.

Chiefbiscuit: Thanks :) You got it correct.

Aparna Kar: I can understand :)

indicaspecies said...

I've lived in Mumbai and recall seeing people sleeping in the most unimaginable position. I recall a porter on a pile of uneven luggage with his body contorted but fast asleep!

I'm told it's got unusually cool along the Konkan coast the past couple of days!?

Anil P said...

Indicaspecies: It shows how the city can tire one so that sleep comes easily even to a 'contorted' body.

Yesterday, it sure was, am not so sure of before that.