Mumbai Devi

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To stay a bit longer in this ‘Indian mood’, this time I would like to share another of my older writings about the amazing city Mumbai.

On the the contrary to Varanasi to this city I have been several times.

If you fly from Europe to Mumbai, you mostly come by a flight reaching in the night. It is always a wonderful sight when after flying through darkness for hours suddenly you see the lights of Marine Drive appearing out of the dark. It is like the city offers you some feeling of ‘home coming’.

Mumbai itself could produce so many topics to write about: colonial past, modern India, problems of megacities,… But for now I decided just to share this piece of writing.

Mumbai Devi

Approaching you after crossing the dark ocean

your necklace is shining so bright from far

The roofs of slum dwellings are so close

before crossing the fence and touching your ground

Once been a small fisher village at the coast,

a wedding gift between colonial powers you were

The jewel in the crown of an empire admired by many,

and now the financial heartbeat of a nation in motion

Your artefacts from a foreign ruled past

renamed after events and names of homegrown history

Torn from here to there between past and present,

generations and traditions are clashing on each other

Although as an unspoken protest against liberalized unjustice

an invisible finger is pointing out through the windows of

commuter trains passing over a long distance

the settlements of the homeless seekers of your fortune

Every morning a huge amount of people

is rushing into your maze of streets and buildings

where hope and desillusion goes hand in hand

and many fell in chasms opening at once

The kind elephant is always smiling down at you,

every year being carried into the water of the ocean,

his broken tooth he sacrificed to write a masterwork,

being admired by readers from far over your borders

Seen by many but your many faces not understood at full

Mumbai Devi, you are cruel, elegant, gentle, caring and ugly at once

When worshipping and praising you one really does not know:

Reality, illusion, nightmare, dream or imagination what are you ?

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