Can you tell where it is? Does it matter? Do you realise that unless you zoom in and see the shop names, you might not know exactly which part of the subcontinent it is. You may narrow it down and the only give-away would be the vehicles.
That is it. A road, people, products, nothing matters.
I was waiting to cross and on an impulse took the picture. This is Linking Road, Bandra, Mumbai.
I was here yesterday, another mundane day, doing mundane things.
You want something important? You think everyday in the life of a human has something significant happening? You imagine them.
I imagined the story of the road. How many times I have passed it, walked along it. It used to be narrow with kiosks lining it. Illegal structures. They have given way to stores. People shop in airconditioned comfort. I went to one of these. Wanted a few T-shirts. The boy must have been in his mid-teens. He showed me nice things and kept piling them on his shoulder; they slipped. I noticed his arm. It was not there. I noticed an armless arm.
From then on I started holding what I wanted…he said he did this everyday. So I handed the pile to him. I did not want him to feel today was any different. I was any different.
I paid him the money. His sleeve was shaking limply.
It isn’t a story. It is his life. Mundane life. Like mine.
We walk the same roads. Some on our feet, some on wheels.
I was here yesterday. Nothing would have changed there today.