Friday, November 12, 2010

It is one of those moments in an ordinary life when you or I can feel like a wretched soul simply because we get inadvertently drawn in sordid situations, or become witness to a vile act. Now, it is certainly a personal choice: what you feel vile might be exemplary to me. But this particular action is somewhat disgusting, or so I find. So, when such moments come screaming your name almost on an everyday basis, it isn’t exactly a rosy feeling.
All this while, since I know you guys are a little lost, I have been talking about this despicable habit that I have particularly noticed in the ‘Aamchis’ of Mumbai: spitting gutkhas and tobaccos. The point is, if you carefully notice this action day in and day out, which you’ll be forced to do nevertheless to your utter sorrow, you’ll realise that it is not so much about the spit but how and where they do it.
Notice, that there are two particular parts to this action on which I have laid emphasis: where this action gets implimented, and how this action unfurls.
Now, let me be a bit more vivid. A newbie in the technicalities of this financial wastebin doesn’t even need to stooge his way through the bogged crowd to catch the artful red streaks. In and around a neighbourhood, you can’t miss the raining streaks on either sides of the entrance, a paste of paint in the corners of the walls, strokes of redness around every bend of the staircase. You cannot but wow at the amazing knack of these denizens for accurate spitting. Then, there are those who just don’t mind painting the town red. Instance! The stations. From each pillar to every post, the actual colour has worn off long back, presently sporting a bright red. Now, notice closely, and you’ll see a change in shade. At the bottom, the colour is blood red, and as your vision shifts upward, there’s an unmistakable shift toward the lighter shade. Absolutely fantastic! As if the fish-&-piss smell wasn’t enough!
Now, cut to traffic. You’re travelling in an auto and you’ll suddenly find a dazzling, white merc cruising to a halt beside you. You cannot help appreciating the beauty. The smooth metal cut, the luscious curves, the chic windows…lo and behold! What do I see? Fresh strips of red spit rolling down the white body of this princely automobile. The owner apparently found it too tedious to stretch his head out to avoid spitting on the car. You can’t help but love these people!
But the best place to observe the second part of the action is whilst riding a mumbai local. In my previous annal of this city, I have laid bare my experience of a mumbai local train, and so I don’t need to elaborate on the pig-sty that it turns into for the lack of accommodation for the swarming populace. Now, imagine yourself standing by the door, sandwiched between two bodies, with hardly any space to breathe. It is going to be a long journey and you feel a tad forlorn. Just then, the dapper chap standing before you, who was till then rubbing his ass lazily on your crotch (mind it, lack of space thereof) bolsters himself to his full stature, with his weight balanced on the support on to which he was holding on, bodily turns on the outer side, cocks out his head and then, to your utmost surprise, he doesn’t spit in the conventional fashion. He just opens his mouth and releases a gushing stream of red cocktail spit, which merely responds to the law of gravity. Awestruck, you instinctively wonder how that red spurt missed your trousers.
So, now you understand why I said to savour a moment is one’s personal choice?