Thursday, January 29, 2009


Yes! Mumbai smells. When the train leaves Bandra station, chugs towards Mahim, the dark salty creek odour overpowers all the Mogras, Chamelis worn by the ladies in the compartment.

That day was no different. Our train had just left Bandra station. I was expecting the usual creek odour, even crinkled my nose in anticipation. But hey, wait! What’s this? Abracadabra? Has the creek water been replaced with Tata’s eau-de-cologne? Or my nose been dreaming Premium’s eau-de-cologne?

The source of cologne stilettoed in the compartment and took the opposite seat. Instinctively my stare followed her from toe, stilettos actually to her head shimmering with highlighted, silky hair.

In between there were micro-skirt, spaghetti –top, manicured nails-painted black a-la-Aishwarya Rai in Dhoom2, tattooed shoulder blade, wine red juicy lips, diamond studded upturned nose. I can go on and on, describing the PYT (Pretty Young Thing). Suffice it to say that the total effect / the end result was straight out of Vogue-cover.

I was not the only one mesmerized but many other ladies were also darting sideway glances in her direction. Some of them were envious, some jealous and few were pure aesthetic like yours truly. I heard one lady whispering to other, loud enough to be heard by the whole compartment- ‘Aaj kal ki ladkiya! Sab make-up ka deekhava hai. Sachcheka toh zamanaa raha nahin’. Many of the ladies nodded in assent.

The journey continued.. Mahim..Matunga. The train was entering the Dadar station and suddenly there was cursing, crying and shouting at the door. The visual that accompanied the sound was somewhat matching to Meera Nair’s movie ‘Salaam Bombay’. An urchin boy, 8 to 10 years old was crying. His face was smeared with red-sticky ghootkha juice. Apparently a bully urchin boy had spit the ghootkha on that little boy’s face, just for the sake of fun and then jumped out of the running train

‘tchk .. Tchk.. Poor boy’ echoed through the entire compartment. The PYT got busy extracting the water bottle from her tote bag. She sashayed straight towards the boy. Washed his sodden, snooty face. Wiped it clean with tissues and coolly returned to her seat. She resumed reading “Brida” by Paulo Coelho.