Blue Tarpaulins On Bombay Chowpatty

It so happens,
that as a July embrace approaches us, one can hear skies rumble.

She’ll ask you to wait, forcing you to sink your hurried feet into rocky rocky sand as she removes her chappal.

Last time,
The spot where Chandni and Arun sat had a continuous bout of peanut sellers interrupting a moment.

All of what Chandni wanted to say was swallowed by Arun’s subtle arm squeezes to comfort her every time her tears were paused.

She didn’t break up with him that day.
She couldn’t tell him that she lost her feelings.

Patches of tarpaulin occasionally fill up this shore.
Underneath that lunch box which had lemon rice this morning is a plastic cover filed with office files and electricity bills,

and underneath this plastic cover is a scrap of blue tarpaulin.

Some people keep it, others leave it here on this Bombay Chowpatty.

The storms and seaweed remind them to not be too in love.

I see a lot of people here.

I met a professor and his dentist wife who came here once to resolve a disagreement that spanned two weeks.

Our postman wanted to tell us how he asked his wife to marry him here.
He recalls that when she said yes, the wind caught the blue tarpaulin and they both were left for each other and the rain.

He told me once that in 1998 he lost his brother to the sea.
His body was fished out with a blue tarpaulin.

I wonder,

How it just happens that we all have someone to make a blue tarpaulin memory with.
Even if you find them many years later and many miles away, There is a spot on this Bombay Chowpatty Where the sea is so close to you.

Your world suddenly shrinks to a shoulder and roasted peanuts wrapped in local Marathi newspaper,

under a blue tarpaulin that can hardly do anything to protect you from the windy storm,

but you tell yourself it’s enough.

Photo by john vargues on Unsplash

Tanvi Avlur

Tanvi is a 21-year-old student of film pursuing her fourth-year bachelor's degree at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. She was born in Bangalore, Karnataka, and has lived there all her life till she moved to Ahmedabad for her higher education.