by austere seeker

But water flows downwards, she thought, as she inspected, through a dust and cement haze, that half section of too-high concrete, perched a good three feet above the surrounding shops, now being built over the age old walking-only track. The track had, over the years, morphed into a pit-scarred, bumpy tar road that furtively joined three levels. First the highest point, where the Buddhist caves were, prehistoric and pockmarked forbidding, marking the march of time since 1st BC; next the slope that was once verdant, susegad song-rich, where the once-upon-a-time landowners, the East Indian Catholic (but now mostly rum) settlements nestled in a sort of peace by the newer shanties inhabited by the residents from the country’s gun and arson heartland; and then of course the third level where fancy real estate had sprung up almost overnight, (carara marble in the foyer, jacuzzi in the suites), which was relatively speaking, noveau. So far, when the monsoons had lashed, as they are prone to in this part of the world, Bollywood style, swaying palms and all, water had been democratic, a gray murky torrent forging its way, a thread binding the three levels. As the dust haze danced over the concrete, and rubble heaps turned the half road into an obstacle course for the nimble and brave, and as she struggled to think beyond the insistent rat a tat a tat of drills and roar of concrete mixers, she thought, This year, it's going to be different. I don’t quite know how.


austere seeker, whose full catalog is here, lives, works, and writes in Mumbai.