It is as if an abnormal silence has taken over my life. Yesterday, while walking through the crowded streets of Mumbai, I continued to feel lonely and isolated. There was noise and voices, there were shops and traders all around and yet there was a strange sense of isolation. I stood watching the pigeons at Gateway of India and kept asking myself, where the life leads from here. I wish I was that pigeon, who can fly away anywhere it wants. In front of me stood the iconic Taj Hotel… maybe it was trying to say me, sometimes you lose people but it isn’t end of it. Or maybe, it just stood there, healing its own wounds.
About thirty minutes later, I found myself walking on Mohammed Ali Road… the streets that have been untouched by the modern development. Yes, government has constructed a bridge over Mohammed Ali Road so that visitors can bypass it without noticing it. I found people everywhere, trying hard to learn livelihood, trying hard to live life… I wondered, how I would react, if I was born among them. Twenty minutes later, every shop on the road was closed. Before I panic, I heard the sweetest sound on the earth, the call for afternoon prayers. Yes, everyone was heading to Juma Prayers. I realized, no matter what, there is something that connects all these people. I wish, they find a leader among themselves who can show them a direction… I wish they feel a sense of responsibility. Minutes later, I found myself in a beautiful small mosque. It gave me few moments to spiritually connect with God.
To escape the heat of Mumbai, I took shelter at a mall. While on the way, the taxi driver pointed me to a theatre, that’s been showing ‘Dilwale Dulhaniye Lejayenge”, a Hindi movie from last 750 weeks. He said, “that’s where people go to escape the heat of Mumbai”. For some reason unknown to me, I preferred going to a mall. Maybe, it was due to some special memories associated with malls. I hurdled through each shop within the mall just to push time around. Yes, there were memories and there was silence.
An hour later, I asked the taxi driver to take me some place, which reminded of ‘hope’. Thirty minutes later, he stopped the vehicle near a mansion. He said, ‘that’s the symbol of hope’. I didn’t take me long to figure out what he meant. I was standing near house of Shahrukh Khan, an ordinary man from Delhi who came to Mumbai twenty years back with hope and won love, money and fame. For most people in Mumbai, he is an ideal example of what you can achieve with hope and hard work and for the rest, he is just another reason to believe, outsiders have taken over Mumbai. I stood there watching in the other direction, towards the ocean. I wish I could decode the signals of water waves.
An hour later, I found myself at Mumbai Airport, probably the worst airport I have been to. No wonder, my flight got delayed for four hours due to some runway problem. Now, that gave me four good hours to think. For about an hour, I read different newspapers. Pictures of some lawyer showing victory sign appeared so stupid. It was a moment to remember those hundreds of innocent people who lost their lives. It was also a moment to recollect that, our security agencies failed to stop the terrorist attack. By merely hanging the culprit isn’t a victory. Anyhow, moments later, I got distracted by a beautiful girl who sat right in front of me. Maybe, it was her perfume that grabbed the attention. Before I could speak a word with her (I mean, I had the intension of speaking), she picked her phone and got busy talking with someone. I felt I should give some privacy to the lady, so, I left from there.
I settled at a quiet corner at the airport lounge with million dispersed thoughts. It’s not the question of challenges, it’s not the question of barriers… the questions that wounded me most are… how can a difference in faith take two people apart? Isn’t ‘faith’ supposed to help people in being together? And who creates these differences in faith? It appears as if, faith and religion have become ‘business models’. People tend to make decisions in life as if they are doing some business… I wonder from when love has become a business! Didn’t realize, how three hours passed by. I was left asking, why is being with uncorrupted mind so painful? I wish, my love towards her was explainable. I wish, I wish…
Finally, reached home at about 12:30 AM… totally exhausted from day long soul searching. Sometimes, I wonder, had I thought so much about cosmological sciences, I would have found a far better theory than the existing ones. The biggest regret is that, even after all this thought process, she isn’t there in my life.