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MY BOMBAY (Bombay of the 50s)   - C. S. Sankara Warrier


Bombay was a City of Dreams...
An enchanting, mesmerizing city
A city everyone wanted to be in
A city which welcomed one 'n all !
Pass Tenth and a little Typewriting 
Lads board train to Bombay ...
The city which grabbed boys
Who were willing to work hard
The city of opportunities it proved
Many rose in career ; made money.
[Travel was neither easy nor smooth
'Reservation' - a term yet to be coined ]
Coming on leave, people looked in awe
Our village boy coming from Bombay !
A 'prince' descending from the Heavens !!
Topper in marriage market : a real catch !!!
Parents of daughters of marriage age
Fought bitter duels in word and deed
Poor girls , their hearts committed to
Locally employed boys had no say at all
. . . . . . . . . . .
One such NEW husband and his NEW wife
Forced themselves into the Bombay Coach ...
Standing and sitting for hours and hours
They finally got down , fully exhausted !
Exhausted ? No Sirs , Tired ?? Not at all
The moment she set foot on the platform
Bombay thrilled her, mesmerised her ...
Is this heaven or earth or heaven on earth ?
What buildings , what roads what vehicles ...
What a variety of people in variety of dress 
The only thing she was not told , not yet ....
Which sky scraper bungalow was theirs !
Approaching ONE her face brightens ....
Passing it over eclipses that brightness
Next ONE again , then again it repeats
Like a travelling flame * in night does !
* Kalidasa's famous simile
Enchanted and mesmerised , no doubt
Walking with bag 'n baggage tired her.
He'd have purchased nearer to station...
At least Darling should have told me !!!
Leaving all civilisation behind them
At long last they reached a narrow street 
His friend living in a one-room tenement
Welcomed the couple ; not gladly though
After meals, talk and rest, night descended
The village wife slept with friend's wife.
The husbands slept somewhere outside !
Likewise this continued for two-three days. !
Fourth day a 'lost-face' dis-spirited husband
Boarded his bloodless dis-spirited wife
Into Kerala Coach of Bombay- Madras mail
No words , but the silence spoke and spoke
C. S. Sankara Warrier , Anubhuti 680 306


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