A Landscape of Mumbai


Recall the back alley of Matunga
Where someone dragged away
An unsuspecting five year old.
Put her on the floor,
Plundered her body, soul.
A sickly dog moved across to lick
Her mangled remains –
Beginning with blood, semen.


Recall the hurt of that Sewri woman –
Screaming, groveling in labour,
Giving birth to a stillborn.
And the tone-deaf, pimp of a spouse
Kept announcing to passersby
How blessed he was with a new mistress.
He blessed his stars.
He cursed the stillborn.


Recall the face of the orphan –
Pale and frail from Dharavi,
Just ten years on to fight anybody,
Without wanting to be rude.
Recall! The boy’s face –
Who survived the pangs
Of constant hunger,
But died watching over a sick parent.



For Dr. Kiran Bedi


Geeta Chhabra


Matunga, Sewri and Dharavi – are localities of Mumbai.

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