Diary excerpt: Mumbai

It’s the golden hour outside and rush hour in the cattle carriage. Fans spinning hot air frantically, keeping commuters just alive as heads loll and drop at the end of a hard, hot day. I want to look out of the window. Its my favourite light. Soft and flattering to almost any scene but I can only see into the shadows, as I sideways glance through the cage. Cast by the litter strewn lines, they hang over polluted canals; greenish blue with plastic poison. I bury my head in my book. Too much for today. A day of comedy and tragedy. Finding endless amusement in the badly written signs and outrageous infrastructure.

Sofa cum bed

Bank Job

Brain disorders. Cure assured.

The clown of a painter-decorator hanging 20ft from a swing. A roller in is hand as he stretches beyond his reach.

No care. No safety. No measure. No structure.

And then the slam of the slum. Unexpected and in our faces, as we exited the museum. A heavily bargained rickshaw ride to the station and a man begging, who seemed to have no torso. Just a pile of twisted arms and legs and shame in his eyes as he asked for a pittance that wouldn’t change a thing.

A quickstep across town to make it in time for a Hindi movie and we both looked down to find our gaze met by a one eyed woman. A black hole in her fragile skull, which she aimed back at us.

We hurried away, carried on, passed her by. I didn’t know what to do. Shocked. Unprepared. Regretful. Angry. Sad.

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