One and Many Cities

68

Shot from the inside of a speeding taxi as we fled Mumbai’s famous and charming Leopold Cafe on Coloba Causeway, where there are still bullet holes from the 2008 Mumbai attacks, to a salubrious air-conditioned shopping mall, in a sports bar on the top floor of which we would while away the midday drinking cocktails in supposed normal Wednesday fashion for Mumbai businessmen, or at least for the kind man who led us there. Having started chatting in the cafe, we let him show us his Mumbai, violently different to everything we had previously experienced in this country; stockbroking, malls, taxis, afternoon drunkenness. It seems the joint in which we ended up attracted a similar and regular crowd; we were lucky enough to get on the wrong side of an ex-girlfriend, a recent and raw breakup, the involvement in which two young European girls was not appreciated.

This photograph I find particularly poignant. Two bright, clashing figures, entwined one with the other, man’s head on woman’s shoulder, looking out at the cityscape of Mumbai’s high-rises over the dirty water. The scene is grey, but the movement of the taxi and growing distance between us and them palpable. Their stasis is assertive, however, and the city beyond even more so; now a distant and unchanging ghost hanging over the wider city.

© Gabriella Zoe Harris. All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: