Wednesday, February 14, 2007


You could dress up in light bulbs, but they'll pretend they haven't seen you. They'll look the other way. Put a hand out and see. They rocket by you, taking it with them on their way to Ghatkopar or Film City or some other distant place. Skeeters.

Oh, the scorn! If they acknowledge you, forget telling them where you want to go - ask them where they'd like to go. Then you'll see that rare thing: a happy rickshaw driver. Anywhere, his face will say, as long as it's far away. Go to hell, then.

If it isn't you, there's always somebody else who'll travel to the distant edges of the suburb. Huge demand for his kind outside the train station at 7pm.

I travel late for the fun. A few hours later I get off the train at a near empty station, walk down past the drunk and the newspaper vendor closing shop, and step outside to just stand between a whole lot of them. They're sitting there, revving their engines, turning on radios, strutting around like male pigeons. They look hopeful. They look like touts.