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roaming the world and enjoying the scenery...

A Mumbai poem

We had a Kiara roof coffeehouse evening last Saturday night called CAF-ASB (pronounced Café – S – B). People shared food and showed off their talents in the arts: poetry recitation, singing, music, painting, etc. It was a beautiful evening accented by flickering candles, providing the perfect setting for such an artsy get together.

One of our fellow teachers here, Russell Bell, is a former actor and stand-up comic from the LA area (his blog about life in India is here). He had written a piece of ‘performance poetry’ about Mumbai that he shared with us, and it was so well done that I asked him if I could post it here. While it is much more entertaining “live,” the words and images contained in it still give a good introduction to life here. Of course, if you’ve been to India, some of these will make more sense to you, but in any case, enjoy “Mumbai” by Russell Bell:

Rickshaw
sida
Right jaao
Vos

Mera nam
Kaise ho
Tik hai
Ha

Is it Namaste or Namaskar
Donnavad or Shukria
Did he say yes or did he say no?
(head wobble)

Shilpa Shetty
Shah Ruh Kahn
Amitabh, he’s the Don
Sanjay Dutt, he carried a gun
Aishwarya’s hot!

Where do you walk when the sidewalk’s full?
Which goes first, bus or bull?
I stepped in something, that’s not cool

Mmmm Mumbai

Haj Ali, dhobi Ghat,
Juhu beach, god it’s hot
The big brick buildings seen at Fort
Were put there by the Raj

Chor Bazaar, Harry’s Place
Colaba Hawkers in your face
The British built India Gate
But a Parsi built the Taj

Chapatti
Roti
Murg masala
nan

Lassi
pani
durawalla
chai

Durga had ten arms,
Krishna loved his curd,
Ganesh’s Dad cut off his head,
At least that’s what I heard

Horn please, honk okay
You can almost taste the air today?
If traffic stops, just drive on the other side.

Where can I go to walk my goat?
Will I ever be able to wear my coat?
Something crunchy just went down my throat

Mmmm Mumbai

Cricket,
Wicket,
Sixer,
Over,
Run

I saw another three-legged dog lying in the sun.

The city, it’s chaotic,
A collection of colors and sounds,
It’s a concert of Life
That can be heard from all around
The instruments, the people,
Are divided by language, caste, and faith,
But the music, it’s all written
In one city – one place

Mumbai

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One Comment

  1. Pretty nice site, want to see much more on it! 🙂

    1. John Williams on August 20th, 2008 at 9:42 pm

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