Who painted the morning in Mumbai

Through morning runs in preparation for the Mumbai Marathon, I’ve become aware of a whole other neighbourhood: my own, but viewed through a rose-coloured lens. Mumbai before dawn is painted by a very different artist than the one who paints the rush of the day and the evening. She uses other colours, more careless brush strokes and a different cast of characters. She has more patience, more appreciation for pastels and undefined shapes, a greater eye for detail.

The gold-edged morning belongs to those who are awake to witness it and create it. Morning belongs to the milkmen who stuff milk bags between grate rungs, the pavwallas and their bicycles. Morning belongs to the cats savouring the quiet, the boys washing cars, the women making the journey from the little houses where they live to the big houses where they work.

In near silence, the sun creeps over the corners of so many churches and bungalows in Bandra. Baby flowers and crawlers lift their sleepy heads. Everyone is still in the last moments of calm before the characters and chaos of daytime arrive.



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