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Enigmatic Aspirations

Dreams: You and Me

INDIA | Saturday, 3 May 2014 | Views [84] | Scholarship Entry

The first time I saw it while the clock struck midnight, my eyes ravished its elegance and diversity. Nothing like wandering on the smiling deserted streets of Mumbai at the dead of the night – a city that nurtured cultures across the globe. Did I just witness frivolous kids rambling about or was it a solitary soul deciphering the depth of reality? My vain attempt to memorize the name of every street I approached took me to heroes of the past, now immortalized forever.

Magnanimity of the Arabian Sea sparkled with shimmering lights serving as the gateway for a million relentless dreams. However, now it lay shining for me. Me alone. I didn’t term it the “Queen’s Necklace”, but I was in awe of whoever did. Soon I realized, someone was sharing this panorama with me, a stranger, a rich stranger. That’s the industrial capital of India for you -home to disparities that angels and demons could shy away from. I walked along in my sheer rags with crumbs of bread. She must have dined with rice and spicy chicken curries. My mouth watered as I embraced the crumbs.

Those eyes followed me as I proudly claimed the skyscrapers and huts within a single glance. They stayed with me as I sipped tea served by the aged man around the corner whose hospitality hours began now, when the city was awake to only those who valued solidarity. Perhaps the myth was true after all –yes, Mumbai never slept. Stealing a quick glance revealed us sharing the same tea. Excitement and fear gripped me at once.

The clinging sound of motor train made me find myself on the platform of a 12-bogeyed van people colloquially termed with the word ‘local’. Was it because it was exclusive or because it was so much so a part of the residing crowd? My stalker was responsible as I kept her yellow tee in sight. Oh wait, was it the same breeze that blew across her face as mine? Before I realized, my friend, our eyes met.

Her smile reached me, and met mine. Despite all odds, we, two wanderers, silently passed each other’s path this fateful night. We would definitely be meeting again, another glorious moment. Mumbai guided us differently to a concurrent goal. Despite the distance, we traveled through this light. She and me, we shared this city, we shared Mumbai, unaware of being forced to dwell in another common comfort- happiness. You never know with the miracles these desolated streets have onlooked. Someday she might end up quoting her momentary journey inspired by an immigrant pauper – like me.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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