City of Dreams.

Did anybody tell you dreams die here?

I spotted this young man on a footpath this morning. I wonder what made him so sad. I wanted to reach out to him, but all I did was clicked a picture from a red BEST bus.


If it’s about what you dream of, does it matter where you dream? How many more will you ensconce, how many more dreams will you nurture, before you shatter them into fragments. Tiny splinters that cut into naked feet and leave bloody footprints.

The city of dreams they call you, is this all you have to offer, mother? Just this much and yet so much. A sheet too small to stretch his legs on, belongings so meagre he can carry them along, and yet a sound sleep, where he can escape into whichever reality he wishes to. Reality is where you wish to be. What are you in your reality, old man? Are you a king with bright eyed daughters, are you a suited businessman in a car with tinted glass, or are you back home, to the place where you once belonged.

Sleep well now old man, for when you wake up, reality may be harsh.


And what dreams lie beneath those bright eyes? And how much time until the smile fades, and the eyes darken? How much time until we realise the most joyous moment for a city is not the innaugration of a flyover, or the rush of a faster train? How much time until we realise that the person selling balloons to children at traffic signals is a child too?


These pictures have been clicked at different times between January and June. Maybe I shouldn’t have clicked these pictures at all, or should not have put them up without asking the people in the pictures about it. Maybe.

5 Comments so far

  1. Zain (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 11:19 am

    Greetings from Karachi..

    As far as I am concerned, you haven’t done anything wrong by taking these pictures. At least for me, it reminds me that there are people in this world who are less fortunate than me and I should remember them in my prayers and try to help them whenever possible.

    Thanks Selma…

    P.S: I see that you are fond of photography. Do you have any picture of the Jinnah House, Malabar Hills, Mumbai? If you have can you send them to me at

    Take care,


  2. selvin (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 10:24 pm

    the true spirit of Bombay lies in the eyes of the public,people come here from all walks of life just to acheive their goals & turn their dreams into reality..
    No matter what, people still have the never give up attitude and that what makes this place special.

    In short – Bombay ROCKS !!!

  3. santhosh wilson (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 10:47 pm

    well but life is a good blends of both happiness and misery. So worrying about all this is meaningless. The point is to find happiness even in grave disappontments. If it happens, then we can share it… then celebrate it… Thus the sorrow is forgotten!

    About dreams…
    the truth is that when you aim, you need to aim the ‘eye’ of the bird…not even its neck… May be these images are talking the same story… There can be a fault with what they aim…

  4. Selma Mirza (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2006 @ 12:22 am


    You’re right, I could see it the other way too and not feel so bad about clicking their pictures. I do not have pictures of Jinnah House, but have often seen it on television, and I believe is a very beautiful place. If I ever do go to Malabar Hill, which is quite far from my house – I will surely try to get some pictures if permitted :-)

    Selvin –

    I see it as the non glamorous side of Mumbai. Besides the highrises, fast cars and tales of fortune also lie these souls lost in their city of dreams….

    Santhosh –

    I wouldn’t blame them, really. Like one reader pointed out, its education that can equip them to break out of this mould. And that too we cannot offer. All we can perhaps offer are quotas in higher education for obcs *sigh*. i wonder if the kid has a caste certificate…

  5. Zain (unregistered) on July 4th, 2006 @ 11:11 am

    Thanks Selma… :)

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