Monday, 4 June 2012

Kurla Village

- Brian Mendonca

If you go down
past the tethered goats
a little way off from the cross
near the crossways
near the grafitti CHELSEA RULES
and the five dogs
-sometimes three, sometimes four -
who lounge on the porch
outside's aunty Mary's home,
the vielas narrow
to harbour the stray bandicoot
scrounging amidst the garreted drains.

Past the ironing men on your left
and uncle who wishes you
'Good Morning' on your right,
and the notice board which says
'Kurla West, East Indian club,'
You come across a bigger cross.

At eventide, EIs gather
to say the rosary,
'Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee'
in stentorian voices.

On Sunday mornings
Lorna sings here
to fugias with tea
buttressed by clotheslines
keeping the peace,
near the stable with handsome horses
leading to the road past the school
where boys play gully cricket.

An autoride away,
Abhinandan at Ghatkopar
offers prawns koliwada in batter,
-savouries and namkeen at Kanojia's.
Maheshwar's vadapaus
delight as much as Bablu's kheema pao
(both Rs 10)
on the kerb leading to
Holy Cross church
of Portuguese descent.

Bargain jeans at Phoenix Marketcity mall
Hannah Montana (Kanda Batata) bags for school
Teeming life, teeming teens
In a lane, a game of Housie,
as the decrepit shuffle homeward
with vacant eyes.

               (Kurla Village, Kurla, Mumbai
                      May 20-29, 2012)     

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Picture of cross at Bhuigaon village, Vasai West; courtesy mumbaipaused.
vielas - bylanes;  from the Portuguese 'Perdido nas avendas, e achado nas vielas'  [Lost am I among the avenues, but I find myself among the bylanes.]  

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