by Deenaz Coachbuilder
Frenetic humanity and mechanical contrivances
whirl along Mumbai’s thoroughfare.
Double decker buses come to a screeching halt.
Hard at work, taxis of varied colors and sophistication, cars,
scooters and motorcycles compete to occupy any vacant space
as pedestrians cross at will, playing a tempting game with fate.
Like a wayward child that refuses to obey,
the traffic saunters at a snail’s pace, and will not quicken.
Wayside shops are filled with flowers and toys,
street food vendors occupy the narrow pavement,
tempting passersby with the aroma of spice and the sizzle of heat,
while the venerable cobbler sits on his mat, immersed in his trade.
A little bit
through the tall buildings packed familiarly together.
Caught in its beams is a single white butterfly,
beating its large wings in an unconcerned fashion
fluttering up and then across,
and in a heartbeat,
in the immersing dust.