The man hops along the coach. His stick could be a deadly weapon but it is far more important as a surrogate leg. The dogs are ugly and old. Flies use them for couches but they can still bark. The streets are slushy and dirty, the sky is grey and the atmosphere sticky. The wind, when it deigns to make its presence felt, is in my face. The smells of this city change with every road.
People on the trains stare at me far too much. Most look at me like they want me to smile and acknowledge their stares. Don't smile at strangers. I return their friendly stares with a cold expressionless stare till they drop their gaze. I'll outstare you every single time.
I wrote the above maybe a few weeks after I moved to Mumbai. Now, a little less then 2 years later, when I read this again on the eve of my departure I know that the city has changed me.
I still get the stares but now I smile and get a smile back in return. This city is a friend. Farewell dear Mumbai . I think I'm taking a little bit of you back with me.