The pigeons of Bombay are so fearless…..
The pandemonium of Mumbai pigeons
The pigeons of Bombay are fearless; they won’t flutter a single feather if you pass by. They are conditioned to this city, to people scurrying around, sometimes aimlessly, sometimes with an urgent purpose. As a lone woman traveller, it’s not easy to manoeuvre your way on the streets of one of the most crowded Metropolitan cities in India. The pulse of the city can be felt by travelling by the local trains in rush hour or steering your way through the densely inhabited streets which paint the ironic juxtaposition of the tallest corporate skyscrapers and impoverished, old cramped buildings or “Chawls” as my taxi driver would call them.
The Lower Parel area houses eminent corporate buildings, chaotic yet colourful “chawls” and provides sustenance to street side peddlers who sell everything from snacks to daily household items and peculiar garlands of green chillies and lemons to ward off evil. After a long excursion on foot, I board the famous honeybee coloured Bombay cabs and we steer our way towards Bandra, Bandstand, the elite residential area which is famous for its party culture and is home to many Bollywood stars like the indisputable “King Khan”. The taxi glides on the Bandra worli Sea link that bypasses 23 traffic signals in merely 8 minutes and when I gaze out the taxi window, the pleasant sea breeze plays with my raven coloured hair as the gigantic pylons frame the most mesmerizing sight any eyes can fathom. The waves crash loudly against the gigantic pillars and the sea gleams and reflects traffic headlights in the night merging into the breathtaking skyline of zenith smooching high rises twinkling in the dark. I get goosebumps and the awe inspiring beauty that flaunts the skyscrapers silently shoves the “Chawls” and the roadside peddlers, the lifelines of the city, the very memory of their existence in Mumbai to a dark underbelly.