Mornings in Mumbai...

... are a raucous affair. I decided to blog about it this morning at 6am, when I woke up to a mixed alarm of howling dogs and mosque azaans. I lay in bed, eyes closed but mind completely awake and taking in the sounds of the weird morning and awakening. It was as if the azaans were echoing off each other - for the number of mosques in my locality, it's no surprise - there was not a second when somebody wasn't singing, and all that varied was how loud the azaan was, depending on how far the mosque was from you. In that darkness, the azaans reminded me of when my friend walked around with her iPhone in the breathtakingly beautiful Blue Mosque of Istanbul while I sat shivering in a corner with my eyes taking in the splendour of the mosque at night.

And as if to wake me out of my reverie, the dogs howled some more; it was bloody awful, eerie and was ringing in my ears. At that moment, despite the fairly animal-friendly self I was (even if I'm tempted to run in the other direction or yell back at a barking dog), I wanted to find a stone to throw in the direction of the dogs and have them scatter away in fright.

And as if this wasn't enough, the doorbell rang and made me jump - my roommates were returning after spending a whole night at the library studying.

What else happens? I shouldn't forget the crows that go berserk at some 3 in the morning, cawing away like the morning wasn't going to break. The security guard blowing on the whistle like crazy, and walking around the apartment, beating his sturdy stick on the ground, as if it would be any deterrent to a sulking thief. I'd listen to the man walk around the apartment, tracking the sound as it faded and came back aloud again. Oh yeah, there's also the random something he burns in a little pan every night - to ward off the mosquitoes, apparently - that will make you choke if you happened to open the main door.

There is another man I should talk about. A complete nut case, loudmouthed and rude old man who cleans our building's staircases once a month or so. He is loony enough to think it is alright to ring the bell multiple times in succession at 6 in the morning and yell at us for buckets of water. I have yelled back at him in my broken Hindi, and roommates of mine who are not easily shaken have given them a piece of their minds too, leaving me shocked (and grinning) at their ferocious displays of anger.

It's only a matter of a few weeks. The apartment will soon be history as we move to campus accommodation. I wonder how mornings will dawn there - I anticipate queues for buckets and brushing teeth, and don't look forward to it, because hostel life in Singapore was a breeze that way. But well, it's all part of the big experience package I signed up for when I decided to move back. And what the heck, doing it for five days is going to get you used to it. Yay to hostel life!

And BY THE WAY - the blog is SEVEN years old! Wow. I feel OLD. The blog is OLD. And there are at least five people reading it, I think, so yay again. 


Anonymous said...

Vani, love your detailed descriptions. It is these little details that stirs far away memories and reminds me of things that make me what I am now. It makes me want to go back to India immediately,at least for a vacation. Where otherwise I don't know which is home, these things suddenly makes me feel "that is home". Does it make sense? :) Keep up the great work btw! I am suddenly jealous of you.

Vani Viswanathan said...

Thank you! I feel flattered :) I'd probably be able to connect better with what you're saying if you leave your name, though! ;)

curses said...

Happy birthday to your blog!
Remind me to listen to a sample of your 'angry Hindi' next time we meet :)

Gradwolf said...

You should wait for the monsoon :) As cliched as it sounds, Bombay rains are something else and differ with time of the day. They are as beautiful a wake up call in the morning (or go-back-to-sleep msg if you will) as they are a rude call for the commuters. They can invite hot samosas in the afternoon or schools cutting short their days. They can be arresting in the evenings and nights, either in their beauty at your home or physically in your workplace far far away! The June-September time is joy.

Of course, only if you love rains.

Ramnarayan Natarajan said...

I have been reading your blogs since 7 years. Yes, time flies very fast. I still enjoy reading your blog because upon reading it immediately generates visual imagery whereby I can go through what you went through and that's the power of writing - no doubt, and you ate excellent in it. Hats off, please don't stop blogging. I'm like I always said your blog's die hard fan.

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