This whole land was the sea
And we stood on the shore there every day
With grains of salt in our hair
And the scent of fish dragging behind our feet.
Bandra smelt like the residue of the Ocean
Pure and aquamarine. Not like your cheap Cinthol soaps.
Freshness meant plunging into the frothy waves of salinity
Licking the seasoning off our lips.
And then the land was reclaimed.
The sea vomited on us
Repulsed by the fact that we had pushed her back.
So we threw out more shops.
Shops with spices to mask the putrid smells.
Vendors sold fruits to allude sellers to freshness
The musk of incense sellers, attar manufacturers and bakers,
The stench of milk and mawa makers
All found their place on the street
To distract us from the scents of our childhood
But deep in the heart of the bazaar
As I twist and turn through its narrowing roads
I find myself gravitating to the center of the fish market
With dried mackerel, pomfret, shrimp and crab
Oozing odours that dance with my olfactory senses.
I just close my eyes and find myself
Flooded with memories of the forgotten sea.
*Photo Credit: Makrand Karkare
** Musings for The Collage Collective Studio, Bazaar Road, Bandra