Mumbai

Salma Gundi's picture

Seven islands in the Arabian Sea sum up the South Asian city where smog and soot stain the snot.

Sensory overload; a civilized shamble where the sun sizzles and silence is scarce. 

Screeching streetcars and speeding cyclists saturate streets; swarms shove at subway stations. 

Social class a stand-out split between the silk stockings and the starving. 

Scores of shiney saris scramble just before sunset for suppertime sales of seeds and spice. 

Skinny schoolchildren salivate over the scent of sumptuous samosas; sugar-savages storm sweet shops.

Seductive street snacks secure a sick stomach due to slipshod sanitation.    

Sixty-two percent of slum-dwellers short on sustenance; a sad statistic of sorrow and suffering.

Shanties smell of sewage, sickness, and sacred cow, in a society selling swag and sex to survive. 

Stray saplings shuffle for a snuggly spot to sleep on the sidewalk. 

Shysters succumb to stealing silver to score some shoes, while submissive servants with sorry salaries seek subsistence from successful show-offs, smug about their surplus. 

Aspiring silver screen stars seek the spotlight while maintaining superficial semblances of status. 

Seaport shipments keep the SENSEX stock exchange soaring. 

Swank south side SoBo skyscrapers overlook surges of saffron, scarlet, and sable below.

Stuck-up straight men speak with lisps:

Snooty owners of stylish stores insist on appointments “to see the suits on Saturdays.”   

Sinful spirituality prevails while The Serpent and his sidekicks slither in to steal souls. 

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