A Street in Mumbai By Meghan Kharsynrap, 164011

I live in a busy street in Girgaon, Chowpatti. Some people recognize the place as an area defined by its chaos especially during the peak hours of traffic, No one would willingly take JSS road if they had a choice. But the place has it's own gentle sides that only residents concur with.

I surmised that I could only really have you experience what it was I see everyday if I was to garner my pictures in parallel to my journey from this street to another. In particular, my everyday journey to and from College.

Everyday I step out of this little nook into the street that is perpetually changing.

A street that is perpetually changing sounds like a concept from a mythological book, a labyrinth of sorts. But I believe that streets are made of its people and so, Mumbai is particularly generous with its transformation. I reside within a temple community and visitors of the temple always have new faces. People of today are gone tomorrow. Shops close and open at their own will. Today there may be a street performer on the side of the road tomorrow it'll be a woman selling trinkets for bare minimum. Everyone is engrossed in their own activities or in their phones. I don't generally see people stop and stare at the history that surrounds them, not even if it was an annual thing relatively.

Flower shops adjacent a temple, intelligent business model.
Here today, Gone tomorrow
"I have places to be" he texted his wife.

Sometimes the lack of familiarity scares me but then I see inanimate things that stay grounded and robust through the swarm of people that move in and around it. Buildings, arches, sculptures and even the intricate wiring of electric posts as well as festival paraphernalia brazenly hanging above a street . Note, even the little parasols obscuring the blue and sometimes grey sky. But more personally, a hydrant! When I first came to Mumbai I took several pictures of hydrants because they left me in awe, never had I seen such a thing in my eighteen years of life. I find comfort in knowing that they are unchanging.

"Water Hydrant?" shouts a little small town outstation student.
The insides of the glass showcase hadn't been touched by "human hands" in a long time.
Remnants of festivities.
Remnants of a succesfully celebrated January 26th

As I walk to Charni Road Station (to catch a cab, ironically.) I see many mundane things. When you're walking/rushing to College you often reject many things that you see on your way there as unimportant. But sometimes, when you're looking through a lens you can capture a comical side to these mundane and familiar things. What with the changing tides of the street there is always something or the other you could capture.

"Lay it down gently" a man shouted, merely moments later a loud clang bellowed.
"Long day at Work"
Wheels and fire, throw back to the beginning of civilization
Temporary shade from a moving car.
Fishing nets and metaphors. There are many fish in the sea?

The Photography of my Journey to college would cease soon as I huddled into a taxi cab. The view from the taxi is matter for another album, although arguably not very novel.

When returning from College I usually take a cab through Parsi Dairy Farm towards Marine Drive. The street that moves to through Parsi Dairy Farm towards marine drive is wide, neat and refreshing. In comparison to the crowded street where I live wherein everything seems unnaturally jammed; like a steampunk movie. The street proves to be a beautiful and solemnly lighted place in the night.

Taxi drivers who strike up conversations are more likely to ask you if your day was kind to you than you ask them.
Lighting incense in a crowded street, It was like time stood still.

Some days I take the train home, and when I do my return is greeted with pretty visuals from the stores that are generally open at this time: mobile repair shops and battery and toy stores. They have a display of led lights all placed intricately to form shapes that illuminate in different colors.

The overhead bridge provides the view of the sky line towards the sea on one side and on the other side overlooks the streets I roam to and from College. They look especially small from up there. From the edge of the bridge I am reminded how small I am and the Vastness, that is, Mumbai.

Just like a moth I was drawn to the neon lights.
The street I had spent hours exploring suddenly seemed so small.


Meghan Kharsynrap

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