All in one Mumbai day we enjoyed these musical interludes.
At Malabar Hill we toured the Hanging Garden (The Cure, Pornography, 1982). It doesn’t hang so much as stand upon a series of reservoirs that hold—depending on who you ask—30 or 90 or 300 million gallons of water. The garden’s benches and clocks and topiary fill the paths, hedges cut in animal shapes.
Creatures kissing in the rain
Shapeless in the dark again
In the hanging garden change the past
In the hanging garden wearing furs and masks
An ox-drawn cart here, an elephant over there, and yonder a giraffe, or is that a llama?
Across the street, at Kamala Nehru Park, the needle triggers Harry Chapin and his soppy paean to parenthood. We all know the number:
And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
“When you coming home, dad?” “I don’t know when,
But we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then.”
Fortunately for those of us who live in the present, who engage our kids as they grow, Kamala Nehru Park offers space to roam, point, look around.
The old woman in the shoe. Baa Baa Black Sheep. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star… Nursery rhymes in Hindi and Marathi: Machli Jal Ki Rani hai by the fish pond, Yere Yere Pavasa by the sprinklers.
A nice view west over the Arabian Sea and the Queen’s Necklace of Marine Drive—these cuts and curves in Malabar Hill offer a fairy tale peak.
Before we leave the hill we pass the Towers of Silence, a funerary site where Parsis lay their deceased to rest. Vultures, sky, and desiccating sun dry the remains before they can pollute the earth. Not a spot for tourists, not for the weak of stomach.
But here comes to mind Farrokh Bulsara: Queen’s own Freddy Mercury, Zanzibar-born Indian Parsi and global rock icon.
Are you ready, hey, are you ready for this?
Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
To the sound of the beat
Another one bites the dust.
I’m ready for this.
I’m hanging on the edge of my seat.
Bring it, Mumbai. Bring the sound of your beat. Bring me to the Taraporewala Aquarium and the octupus’s garden in the shade… I love your rhythm and I dig your beat.