In My City

In my city, lives a toddler, in a rundown tent. He comes back piggy-riding on a tired mother’s back, the dust of construction site shimmering like jewels on his face. The rickety street dogs welcome him with faint barks. He thinks they are the only friends he has got. He laughs. Dogs bark in sync. His mother, too tired to move an inch, twitches 17 muscles to smile. In my city, a toddler laughs at his imaginary luxury and a mother smiles at her definitive hope.

In my city, lives a daughter, pampered in a 17th-floor condo. Whenever Mehta auntie comes, she greets her with fake smiles and raging heart. The hall is reverberating with waves of laughter over Moet & Chandon. She wants to claw out Mehta auntie’s eyes with her pale pink fingers. Her father leaves to see off Mehta auntie downstairs. She looks at her mother and says, Mom; Mehta auntie and dad! Her mother sighs and tells she knows. She has always known. In my city, a daughter grows up a generation in a sigh.

In my city, a father breaks his fixed deposits to buy a car. A gift for his son returning from the first day of the job. The father is ecstatic because his son’s monthly income is on par with his yearly income. 7 miles afar, a car rams into a pedestrian. A pedestrian with a smile on the face carved by blood. A pedestrian and his dreams dissolving into concrete with his blood. In my city, a father anxiously checks the watch for his son to return and ride his new car.

In my city, I see a middle-aged couple sneaking kisses in a parking lot of a sea-facing building. How beautiful, I think. On a busy road, an overexcited pedestrian is hit by a car. The signal was open and the crossing was red; what was he thinking? What was the hurry all about? I heard them say. I skip the onlooking traffic. I see a toddler being scared off by dogs near a rundown tent. I pity his plight and dust-mauled life. In my city, perspectives are hung by a zillion entangled threads held by a God. In my city, Life is the name of that God.

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