Friday, 29 July 2005

Salaam, Bombay

So you're back, old friend, unbowed,
a little damp, thirsty perhaps.
(Ironic, isn't it? Floods,
but no water in the damn taps?)

And you're telling brave stories
via email and SMS:
How many kilometres
you walked; how long it took; the mess

you walked through; and wasn't it sad
that we still haven't got a
disaster management plan;
oh, you read the new H Potter?

It's business as usual,
you're back, you're selling things.
You're picking up the phone
after the requisite two rings

Is it resilience? Pluck?
Or just that you need that pay
cheque? Whatever your reason
I'm glad you're back. Salaam, Bombay.


Marginalien said...

Beautiful/sad -- a fitting poem to a great city with monstrous administrators. I believe Zig, that a citizens' protest group should sue the municipal corp. collectively, for negligence. I believe it CAN BE DONE.

uma said...


it takes a city. and what a great city.

Leela said...

Well said. (Or should it be well versed?)

Dream Debutante said...

Your poem is moving. So much better said than all the people who say Bombay never dies/sleeps. If one more person says that, I'm going to thrown a brick at them. With 18million or whatever the number is now, unless all of us are wiped out at one stroke, paapi pet ka sawaal hai bhaiyya, kaam toh karna hee padega.
People don't have the choice to sleep, die or treat a nervous breakdown. People think Bombay never dies and Bombay never sleeps is a compliment. They're right, it is a tribute, but to people's helplessness and to the way the city has them in a deadlock.
And let's not forget about the nincompoops who run the city. One city paper Mirrored a different reality. It ran some seven pages three-four days after the disaster on how the BMC, the state, the police, everyone was working fine. And when were they working fine? After the disaster had passed over. Is this the time to hand out accolades? How can we forget how they had no plan of action? And that the prime minister of the country chose to cover his party's rather large ass by giving the CM a clean chit?